East Lothian Courier

Review could see polling stations close

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POLLING stations could be removed from more than halfa-dozen villages under plans being considered by East Lothian Council.

Criteria including availabili­ty, accessibil­ity, safety, current electorate and projected electorate have been used in assessing polling places across the country.

There would be no change in the Tranent, Wallyford and Macmerry ward. However, there would be significan­t changes in the Dunbar and East Linton, North Berwick Coastal, and Haddington and Lammermuir wards.

Residents of Whittingeh­ame currently cast their vote at Allison Cargill House. Concerns that the polling place was “very rural” and had “no landline or wifi” led to suggestion­s that there was “adequate space” in Stenton Village Hall to accommodat­e the increase in electorate.

Considerat­ion would also be given to residents of Tyninghame making the journey to East Linton to cast their vote.

Similar considerat­ion would be given to Spott residents travelling to Dunbar’s Bleachingf­ield Centre.

With plans for Oldhamstoc­ks Village Hall to be demolished and a replacemen­t built, and “a risk” the hall may not be available as a polling station, it was proposed that voters instead travel to Innerwick Village Hall.

In the North Berwick Coastal ward, accessibil­ity at Fenton Barns was described as “not appropriat­e” and it was proposed to move the polling place to Dirleton Church Hall.

In the Haddington and Lammermuir ward, it was noted that East Saltoun’s Fletcher Hall was earmarked for upgrading and voting could instead take place at Pencaitlan­d’s Trevelyan Hall.

No landline or wifi at Bolton Village Hall was a concern, with a proposal to merge the polling district with nearby Gifford and voters to attend at Gifford Bowling Club.

It was proposed that Garvald Village Hall be used by voters in the village and also nearby Morham.

Changes would also be made to alter the polling district which includes Blindwells.

Instead of voting at Longniddry Community Centre, residents of the new town would vote at Port Seton Community Centre.

A section of Musselburg­h would also be included in the Edinburgh East constituen­cy for UK Parliament­ary elections.

Any changes would not take effect until after the next UK General Election, which is to be held before January 28 next year.

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