Northern Ireland news

Flags complaints lead to change of Newbuildings polling station

The centre in Newbuildings was selected as a polling station on May 5 but some voters told the Electoral Office they felt intimidated when casting their votes at the 2015 Westminster election because flags had been flown in the grounds 
Amanda Ferguson

A CO Derry community centre will not be used as a polling station for the upcoming assembly election after complaints about “intimidation” over the erection of loyalist flags.

The centre in Newbuildings was selected as a polling station on May 5 but some voters told the Electoral Office they felt intimidated when casting their votes at the 2015 Westminster election because flags had been flown in the grounds.

The polling station will now move to Newbuildings Primary School, where it had previously been located.

Chief electoral officer Graham Shields said the decision was taken after an investigation into a number of complaints from members of the public.

He added that the appropriate consultation was carried out regarding the move and no objections were received.

At last year’s Westminster election a polling station was removed from Howard Primary School in Moygashel, Co Tyrone after loyalist flag protestors appeared at the European and council elections in 2014.

It will not be used as a polling station at next month’s assembly election either.

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