Agenda and minutes

General Purposes Committee - Tuesday, 10th December, 2019 6.30 pm

Download documents using the MOD.GOV app

Venue: Committee Room A, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS

Contact: Mark O'Callaghan  Scrutiny and Engagement Officer

Note: The public proceedings of the meeting will be recorded and made available for playback on the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council website 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillor Mrs Thomas. Councillor Dr Hall was not present.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda. For any advice on declarations of interest; please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.


There were no disclosable pecuniary or other significant interests declared at the meeting.


Notification of Visiting Members wishing to speak pdf icon PDF 6 KB

To note any members of the Council wishing to speak, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18, and which item(s) they wish to speak on.


There were no visiting Members who had registered as wishing to speak.


Minutes of the meeting dated 9 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To approve the minutes of a previous meeting as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.


Members reviewed the minutes.  No amendments were proposed.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 9 January 2019 be approved as a correct record.


Polling Place Review pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Full Council on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:


William Benson, Chief Executive, introduced the report that reviewed the Council’s polling districts, polling places and polling stations, as required under the provisions of the Electoral Registration Electoral Administration Act 2013. It included the following comments:

·         The review was a legal requirement but it was also good practice and allowed the Council to consider any changes that might be required.

·         The report recommended no changes to the current inventory with the proviso that it consider investigating the possibility of an additional polling station in Sherwood ward for future elections.


Discussion and responses to members questions included the following:

·         There was concern that accessibility and particularly car parking provision at polling stations in Southborough and High Brooms, in particular St Thomas Church Hall and Pennington Road. Additionally, St Matthews, although right in the centre of High Brooms, parking was an issue.

·         Southborough Town Council had suggested St Dunstan’s as a possible alternative in Southborough North but there had been some resistance from the Church regarding this option.

·         It was agreed that a note be made of those polling stations that were in less than ideal locations and when appropriate, consideration be given to possible alternatives.

·         There had been pilot schemes that looked at possible alternative voting methods but any changes would be a matter for central Government. There remained a number of ways to vote, including postal votes that should be encouraged, particularly for those wards struggling with low turn outs.

·         The new Southborough Hub might be a suitable option.

·         Investigation into possible site in Knight’s Wood would start as soon as possible.


RESOLVED – That ‘no changes’ as set out in Appendix A of the Report be agreed with the proviso that the Council would investigate the possibility of an additional polling station in Sherwood Ward.


Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There was no urgent business.


Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To note that the date of the next scheduled meeting is Tuesday 3 March 2020 at 6:30pm.


The next meeting was scheduled to be held on Tuesday 3 March 2020 at 6:30pm in Committee Room A at the Town Hall.