Following my earlier post on 8th May, we have now received the following response from The Returning Officer:
Dear Mr Motte,
Thank you for your letter which you attached to your below email and for taking the time to share the Barry Waterfront Residents’ Association’s experience of voting at the Portacabin, Premier Inn, Hood Road Polling Station; and I am very sorry to hear that such long waiting times were experienced.
As you may be aware we have not previously experienced issues with the Polling Station at the Premier Inn however, due to Covid-19 we were unable to use the Premier Inn as a Polling Station for the May 2021 elections. As an alternative, arrangements were made to use a portacabin as a Polling Station, however there were only limited portacabins available to hire, as they were being used across the country at Covid testing centres.
The Electoral Commission provided supplementary advice in relation to ensuring Polling Stations were safe places to vote and after risk assessing portacabins, it was determined that they could not safely accommodate more than one voter at a time which inevitably had an impact on poll day.
I can confirm that the only people who were turned away from the Polling Station were those who joined the queue after 10pm, and my staff attempted to deal with those in the queue as quickly and safely as possible.
Again, I am sorry for any inconvenience caused and will have regard to the issues raised to ensure improvements for future polls.
Constituency Returning Officer (Senedd)
Local Returning Officer (PCC)