By KLTV Newsdesk –
On Thursday 6 May 2021 all eligible residents in Kirklees will be invited to vote for their local councillor, as well as an elected Mayor of West Yorkshire, alongside the rest of the region.
The Mayor will Chair the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and oversee West Yorkshire’s new £1.8 billion Devolution Deal.
Kirklees Council have said that they are aiming to ensure polling stations are as safe as possible for voters and staff with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There will also be a postal vote, which means it is not necessary to go to a polling station.
Applications for a postal vote are now open. To vote by post you can do one of the following:
- Email your name and address details to electoral.registration@
kirklees.gov.uk to have an application form sent.
- Telephone the Electoral Services Team on 01484 221650 during normal office hours.
- Download an application form from the Kirklees Council website: https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/
There are over 190 polling stations across the Kirklees voting area which vary in size and layout.
Kirklees Council says they are undertaking thorough risk assessments on all polling stations to ensure that voters are able to vote in a socially-distanced and safe way.
As with other public buildings and shops, voters may have to queue and, depending on the size of the polling station, there may be queues outside the building.
There will be a limit to how many voters will be allowed into the polling station at any one time.
Voters will be encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil to vote and, unless the voter has a medical exemption, face coverings must be worn inside polling stations.
One-way systems will be in place and appropriate signage and directional signs will be posted in each station.
Where possible, there will be a different entrance and exit. Facilities for sanitising hands will be available at entrances and exits for voters.
Polling booths and equipment will be cleaned periodically throughout the day of the poll.
Additional staff will be employed to assist voters, provide information and manage queues.
All staff will be trained in the revised procedures and they will be provided with the relevant PPE.
Desk-top perspex screens will be situated in each station.
It may be that the location of some polling stations will have to change. In such instances, the council will write to each voter informing them of the change and the location of the new polling station.
Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive and Returning Officer at Kirklees Council, said: “Over the course of the pandemic we’ve faced many challenges, including how we deliver the services that local people rely on.
“Organising elections, whilst we’re combating the COVID-19 pandemic, brings with it a number of challenges and we’re confident of delivering these elections in the safest way possible.
“Our Elections Team is working closely with colleagues in Public Health in preparation with the priority being the safety of residents and our staff and volunteers
“All the plans for the elections in May 2021 will be under constant review in light of government guidelines and Public Health advice.”