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“BIZARRE” VOTE CHANGE PLAN FOR RUTHVENFIELD MUST BE REVERSED

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP and Cllr Grant Laing, who represents Strathtay Ward on Perth & Kinross Council, have expressed their concern about proposals put forward by the council which would see almost 500 voters from Ruthvenfield and the surrounding area, who have previously voted at Ruthvenfield Primary School, facing a six-mile round trip, despite the school continuing to act as a polling station for voters from the Almond & Earn Ward.

Ms Cunningham said:

“This suggestion seems bizarre, to say the least. And if there is any good reason for it, then Perth & Kinross Council has, for some reason, chosen not to share it with us.

“In the list of proposed changes to polling stations announced by the Council there are four changes put forward.  One introduces a new polling station to reflect population growth, one affects nine people and another involves a change of station from one venue to another a couple of hundred yards away.  But the one affecting Ruthvenfield is of a completely different nature indeed.

“This would mean almost 500 voters facing a 6-mile round trip to the polling station, many driving past their current polling station in Ruthvenfield Primary School, while people from outside Ruthvenfield will be coming to the village to vote.

“These proposals are out for consultation but if Perth & Kinross Council expect people to engage constructively with the changes they have put forward then they will need to be a lot more forthcoming about the thinking behind their plans.

“To make matters worse, despite Ruthvenfield being the only community substantially affected by the proposed changes, details of the plans are being made available for inspection in seventeen different locations across the council area – but not in Ruthvenfield.

“As far as I can see, there is no good reason to support these plans and plenty of argument for leaving things just as they are with the residents of Ruthvenfield voting in Ruthvenfield Primary.”

Cllr Grant Laing added:

“I was shocked when I first saw the proposal for combining voting district SMF5 with SMA, meaning Ruthvenfield residents voting at Pitcairngreen.

“There is no suitable public transport so driving would be the only option for the electorate. In an era when the Council is actively trying to reduce the carbon footprint, this seems a very retrograde step. 

Right now, many people in Ruthvenfield can easily walk to their current polling station and it seems ludicrous to move them, whilst having 139 people from another ward driving into Strathtay Ward to vote.

“We should be taking steps to encourage the voting public, not introducing changes which would have an obvious detrimental effect.

“Representations should be made in writing to the Election Team at Perth & Kinross Council, 2 High Street, Perth PH1 5PH or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  before Friday 22 November 2109.

“I have already lodged my objections with the Council and I urge others to do the same.”

 

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NOTE: The Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places can be seen online here.

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Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design