Residents to have their say on schools being used during elections

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There are calls for the Barrhead Foundry to be used as a polling station in a bid to keep schools open during elections and referendums.

East Renfrewshire Council is conducting a review of its polling arrangements ahead of a potential shake-up in June next year.

SNP councillor Angela Convery has reached out to her social media following to gage whether there is an appetite for change in Barrhead.

She wants residents who would normally vote at Carlibar and Cross Arthurlie Primary Schools to instead use the Foundry’s large games hall.

And she has had a range of responses, with some residents supporting the idea and others saying it doesn’t make sense.

Pat Conroy said: “The venue is excellent but will need a lot of planning.”

Pauline Brady, Mary Rae and Annemarie Duffy all described the potential change as a “great idea”.

But Joe Crawford said: “People might not vote if they have to walk a distance, especially if they have physical problems.”

Douglas Yates called for all polling stations to be scrapped across East Renfrewshire.

He added: “We are in the habit of making it as convenient as possible for voters to record their vote.

“I Imagine a central voting place would simply reduce the numbers of those who cast their vote. That said, there is more and more postal voting taking place.

“That seems a growing trend so why not have 100% postal voting?

“Consequence… no polling places and no polling places staff to pay (to offset postal costs). Just a thought if we wanted to be radical.”

Residents can have their say on polling stations until December 21, with a draft polling scheme set to be submitted to the council on February 28 next year.

There will then be a further public consultation between March 8 and May 3 with final plans to be unveiled on June 26.

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “The council is required to conduct a statutory review of polling districts and polling places every five years.

“All East Renfrewshire electors are free to make representations in writing ahead of the deadline on Friday 21 December.”

Councillor Convery was approached for comment.