Council successfully sued for polling station access issues

Pressure on councils to improve access at polling stations. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Kingston Council has been forced to pay out a legal settlement to a disabled voter after he was unable to gain access to a polling station in his wheelchair in a local election three years ago.

Adam Lotun was unable to vote in the Sunray Community Centre in Tolworth (not pictured) and hired a QC to fight the case. He had been campaigning for better access for years and believes, alongside many disabled people, that there is room for improvement at many polling stations.

In response to the settlement, a council spokeswoman told The Surrey Comet: “The Council is aware of its responsibilities under Equalities legislation and strives to ensure that buildings that it uses as Polling Places at elections are accessible to those with disabilities.

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“To this end the Council will be reviewing access arrangements at all buildings currently used as Polling Places as part of the next Polling Place review. The Council is not aware that there were any complaints regarding access to Polling Places at the recent Parliamentary election.”

It is unclear whether the council will take action to improve access but the news comes as increasing pressure is put onto UK councils to install access solutions at polling stations around election time.

The General Election this year shone a light on several cases where people were allegedly unable to gain access to stations due to access issues.

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