We have previously reported on the closure of the polling station in Sipson. We are also fighting to reinstate the temporary Polling station that was present in Cranford Cross on the green area of Oxford Avenue. At present, your polling station is the Scouts Hut in Harlington, again this is some distance away from where the residents actually live – we feel that the Council are deliberately targeting persons who are elderly or those with disabilities.
The residents living in Cranford Cross used to walk a very short distance to Vote and now they have to travel by Car or public transport – which again is not every user-friendly to get to the HD5 polling station in Harlington. The number of polling place electorates in the HD5 stations is 3618, this is a very large number of residents visiting the polling station. Although HD5, Scouts Hut is a suitable polling station for Harlington and its local residents who can vote it is not suitable for this high number as it is a small station with very limited parking. Many residents on the day were complaining on the lack of car parking space and the fact that it was so busy, creating problems for walkers and the local residents residing in the flats and houses next to the Harlington Scouts Hut Polling station. Residents in Cranford Cross were also complaining that there right to vote was taken away when the temporary Polling station was taken away.
During the 2014 Council elections many residents stated to us that if the polling station were walking distance than they would have voted – we even gave lifts to 3 elderly voters who did not have any tranportation on the day.
Heathrow Villages also has a large population of persons who work shifts in the airport doing either early, late or night shifts as such walking to the polling stations in the Heathrow Villages will is an absolute necessity.
As mentioned before, Heathrow Villages had a 32.2% voter turnout for 2014 which is a relatively average number when compared with other wards throughout Hillingdon Borough and even the country. There has overall been a low turnout in the local elections and moving the polling stations further away can only contribute to this. Having a polling station walking distance from your house can only encourage more residents to vote – simple!
The council is accepting comments on the proposals from residents and we would urge you to have your say.
Representations can be made in writing (before 30th September) to:
London Borough of Hillingdon – Electoral Services
Uxbridge, UB8 1UW
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also be spending this weekend door knocking in Cranford asking residents to sign a petition/ letters of support to reinstated the polling station on Oxford Avenue.
Cllr Peter Money, Cllr June Nelson and Cllr Manjit Khatra
Your Heathrow Villagers Councillors