Schools across Greater Manchester look set to shut their doors for the General Election on December 12th, which is likely to cause problems for some parents when it comes to childcare arrangements.
According to the Manchester Evening News, schools have been used as polling stations for decades because every community has one. They are also free to use and under the local council’s control but, although headteachers can’t refuse to allow their school to be used in this way, some have asked for alternative venues to be found so they don’t have to shut for the day.
The city council has said that disruption will be minimised as much as possible during the election, with a representative saying: “Ideally, we would have the choice of a range of fully accessible buildings, conveniently located for electors in the relevant polling district, which can be used as polling places. However, in some areas there may be little suitable choice available.”
School closures have not been well received by some parents, it would seem, with one saying it is unfair that a closure is forced on schools when classroom attendance is emphasised so strongly.
And some parents noted that perhaps schools don’t have to shut altogether, with hall areas or gyms used as polling stations instead.
Figures from the Electoral Reform Society show that there has been a big rise in voter registration this time compared to the election in 2017 – with a 38 per cent increase having been seen. This is being driven in large part by people aged 34 years old or younger.
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