Sheffield polling stations move after complaints about poor access

Two polling stations will move to new venues after complaints that they were not accessible for voters with disabilities.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 9:34 am

Disability Sheffield says one of its volunteers, who uses a wheelchair, had complained about Walkley Library and one of its advocates has objected to a tile shop on Barber Road, Broomhill.

Kate Josephs, chief executive of Sheffield Council, says those polling stations will now move.

“There will be over 200 polling stations across the city on May 6, and we are working hard to make sure that they are safe and accessible for everyone.

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Walkley Library.

“Wherever possible we always use polling stations that are fully accessible. Unfortunately, in some areas of the city, we are severely restricted in the choice of buildings we have available to use and this has meant that we have identified a very small number of polling stations that are not as accessible as we would want.

“Two of the polling stations that were identified as not being wheelchair accessible were Walkley Library and Hallam Tiles.

“I’m pleased to say that we have now been able to secure alternative locations in these polling districts – Ebenezer Hall and Lifelong Learning and Skills Centre, respectively – for use at the election, which are accessible to everyone including wheelchair users.

“We review all of our polling stations after each election. We would welcome any feedback on any of our polling stations and how we could improve, please email us at [email protected]

Disability Sheffield has highlighted a report by The Electoral Commission which has called for changes to allow disabled people to register and cast their votes more easily.

The report wants election forms changing so they are easier to understand and to give disabled people more ways to vote.

It says the law should be changed so people with disabilities have more choice on who they can bring to a polling station.

And political parties should make sure their information is easy to read and understand and publish accessible versions of manifestos.