Eight polling stations have changed for the elections in Reading this year, with voters being reminded to check their poll cards for where they need to vote.

There are two elections taking place on May 6 in the borough, one for Reading Borough Council (RBC) and the other for the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner.

Electors will vote for candidates in one of 16 wards for the RBC election.

One candidate will elected in all wards except for Peppard where two candidates will become councillors after a by-election was triggered.

READ MORE: Every Reading Borough Council candidate

Christopher Brooks, electoral registration officer for RBC, said: “The election team here at Reading have been working hard to ensure polling stations will be safe places to vote on May 6 and people arriving on the day can expect to see many of the measures they’ve become used to in shops or other indoor spaces, such as social distancing and hand sanitiser for example.

“Your poll card will tell you where to find your polling station. Make sure you check the information on your polling card, as your polling station might have changed since the last elections.

“There are some changes in polling stations in Church, Caversham, Southcote, Kentwood, Redlands, Tilehurst and Whitley wards this year, so voters who live in those are particularly asked to check.

“You do not need your poll card to vote, but we would encourage you to bring it with you to make the process quicker and more efficient for everyone. It should only take a few minutes to vote.

“We have put arrangements in place to help maintain social distancing, so if you are asked to queue, please be patient and we will work to enable you to vote as quickly as possible. If you need any assistance on the day, just ask the staff at the polling station – they are there to help.”

Polling station changes

The eight changes to the usual polling stations in Reading this year are:

Christ the King has moved to South Reading Leisure Centre (Church Ward)

Christ the King has moved to South Reading Leisure Centre (Church Ward)

  • Christ the King has moved to South Reading Leisure Centre (Church Ward)
  • Prospect School has moved to Southcote Community Hub (Southcote Ward)
  • The Ridgeway School has moved to St Barnabas Church, Elm Road (Church Ward)
  • Norcot Youth and Community Centre/Temporary Bus has moved to St Mary Magdalen Church (Kentwood Ward)
  • Redlands School has moved to St Luke’s Church (Redlands). Note: St Luke’s Church Hall is also a polling station.  Check your poll card carefully to ensure that you are in the correct building
  • Park Lane Primary School has moved to Tilehurst British Legion (Tilehurst Ward)
  • Geoffrey Field School has moved to Christ The King Church (Whitley Ward)
  • Caversham Primary School has moved to Thameside Primary School (Caversham Ward)

Although the council had previously planned to move the Geoffrey Field School polling station to infants school to the junior school, it has now decided on Christ The King Church as the new site.

How to vote on the day

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm and people voting in person are encouraged to keep themselves and others safe by:

  • Wearing a face covering
  • Bringing their own pen or pencil
  • Cleaning their hands when entering and leaving the polling station
  • Keeping a safe distance

What if you have symptoms of Covid or need to self-isolate?

You should not attend a polling station if you have symptoms of Covid-19 – a continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell – or if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Anyone who develops symptoms or is asked to self-isolate shortly before polling day has up to 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote.

This allows them to nominate someone they trust to vote on their behalf.

Contact 0118 937 3717 or email elections@reading.gov.uk to arrange a proxy vote.

Deadline for postal votes

Your postal ballot must be returned by 10pm on Thursday May 6. You can hand it in at any polling station in the borough if you run out of time.