A COUNCILLOR has criticised a polling station review which proposes using four additional city schools for future elections.

Worcester City Council is proposing adding Dines Green, Nunnery Wood, Oldbury Park and Cherry Orchard primary schools to replace stations deemed no longer suitable.

Richard Udall, who represents St John’s ward, said: “We should not be closing schools and disrupting education for an election.”

As part of the council’s Polling Station Review, which is required by law every five years, Dines Green Academy has been proposed as a replacement for The Green Centre for the electorate in district K3. However, those in districts K1 and K2 would continue as normal.

The returning officer said the school’s “closer proximity to the majority of the electorate” is the main reason for the potential change, according to the report.

However, Cllr Udall said: “I can’t see a reason to disrupt the school. The facilities [at the centre] are perfectly fine and not causing a problem.

“If there’s absolutely no alternative then consider it but there is an alternative,” he added.

Meanwhile, Worcester MP Robin Walker has praised the new tenants of the recently re-opened Alma Tavern, for agreeing to be a polling station for St Stephen ward to avoid using Perdiswell Primary School.

Mr Walker had written to the council to find an alternative to the school after meeting with the headteacher Rachel Hughes last year. He said he was “thrilled” the pub had agreed to get on board due to the previous station “causing challenges for teachers and parents alike.”

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A council spokesman said the law states a station “must be within the polling district, unless no accessible building is available” and “easy to reach and to navigate for voters with disabilities.”

The returning officer is entitled to use schools maintained or assisted by a local authority, as well as schools that receive grants directly from central government, they added. A public consultation ends on Thursday with the review to be considered by full council on November 19.