Agenda and draft minutes

Electoral Provisions Sub Committee, Electoral Provisions Sub-Committee - Thursday 3 February 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Romana Gosine.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of Grants of Dispensation (if any).



There were no declarations of interest received.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Sub – Committee held on 8 July 2021.


The Minutes of the Electoral Provisions Sub - Committee held on 6 July 2021 were agreed as a correct record of that meeting.


Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce if there are any urgent items and their position on the Agenda.


It was reported that there were no urgent matters for the Sub - Committee to consider.


References from other Committees. (If Any)


It was noted that no matters had been referred to the Sub Committee for consideration.


Covid 19 Update.

A verbal report on the provisions in place for elections during the pandemic and any future changes expected.


The Electoral Services Manager reported on the precautions taken to combat Covid-19 at both the 2021 and the 27 January 2022 elections.


She informed Members that whilst certain restrictions has been lifted on 27th January 2022 it had been decided to maintain precautions at both polling stations and at the ensuing count for the election on that date.


The Electoral Services Manager reported that there had not been any

Covid-19 outbreaks arising from the election and that no adverse comments had been received regarding precautions nor changes to polling places.


It was additionally noted that the practice of conducting pre - checks for Candidate Nomination Papers digitally and pre - submission draft checking  was to be continued as this offered a better service to candidates and agents and had been well received.


Finally the Sub Committee was informed that there were no legislative changes expected before the May 2022 elections except to extend the current emergency proxy arrangements, based on Covid-19, and that there was no intention to extend any other provisions beyond 28 February 2022, therefore the subscribers to nomination papers would return to the previous levels.


Members welcomed the information and congratulated the Electoral Services Manager and her team on the smooth running of the elections in these difficult times.


Elections Bill

A verbal report on the Elections Bill and expected changes for 2023.


The Sub - Committee received a verbal update on the provisions of the Elections Bill which is currently being considered by Parliament and noted that the Bill will make significant changes to all elections in the United Kingdom.


The Bill is designed to strengthen the integrity of the electoral process and will introduce a number of changes including: -


·         The removal of the 15 year rule for overseas electors and introduction of votes for life for parliamentary elections


·         The formalisation of voting and candidacy rights of EU citizens following Brexit


·         The introduction of a requirement to show ID at Polling Stations


·         Changes to postal and proxy voting arrangements


·         Changes to the Electoral Commission and membership of the Speaker's Committee;


It has been estimated that the provisions of the Bill will place a significant additional administrative burden on the Authority.


In addition the Electoral Services Manager reported that the Minister of State for Equalities and Levelling Up Communities, had recently published a policy statement document – ‘Protecting the Integrity of our Elections’ which provided greater detail on voter identification and Voter Cards, and Members of the Sub-Committee were informed that a copy of this was to be provided for their information.



Interim Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places 2022 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To review the current Polling Districts and Polling Places and consider any changes that may be required before conducting an interim review.

Additional documents:


Members were presented with the draft proposals to conduct an interim review of the polling districts and polling places in the borough together with a planned schedule for this review.


It was noted that as a result of the steady growth of the population of Dartford it has been accepted that it was necessary to regularly monitor the Borough’s polling districts. 


By undertaking a review at this time it would be possible to introduce any necessary changes in time for the 2023 local elections.  Should any unscheduled elections be held before this date, they will be held under existing arrangements


It was also reported that a referendum on the “Stone Neighbourhood Plan”, will be required to be held on 26 May 2022. 


Unfortunately the Plan is based on former parish council boundaries and consequently the polling districts needed to hold the referendum, no longer exist. 


Therefore Members were asked to consider the creation of an interim polling district to facilitate the referendum to be held on the 26 May 2022. 


It was further reported that this newly created polling district would be deleted and changes identified by the review implemented, in December 2022, when the Register of Electors was re–published.




1.    That a public consultation on the polling districts and polling places, be conducted in accordance with the timetable set out in  Appendix A to the Report


2.    To note the potential need to create a new polling district (SHO1b), to enable the Stone Neighbourhood Planning Referendum to be conducted as set out in Appendix B to the Report.


3.    To note and support the preliminary findings of Officers relating to changes to polling places as set out in Appendix C to the Report, for inclusion in the public consultation approved in Resolution 1 above.