Melton mum angry over her childrens’ school being closed on election day

Swallowdale Primary School in Melton EMN-191113-105216001
Swallowdale Primary School in Melton EMN-191113-105216001
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A Melton mum says she will be left out of pocket and her four children’s education will be disrupted as a result of their school being used as a polling station for next month’s General Election.

Emma Jacobs-Perrett is unhappy she will have to take a day’s unpaid leave from her job or pay child care costs as a result of Swallowdale Primary School being selected as a venue for the ballot on December 12.

Swallowdale Primary School in Melton EMN-191113-105205001

Swallowdale Primary School in Melton EMN-191113-105205001

Other schools do remain open when they are used as polling stations but Swallowdale staff have decided to close it for the day due to safeguarding issues, it is understood.

Mrs Jacobs-Perrett complained to Melton Borough Council, which co-ordinates the election venues, and called on them to find an alternative venue.

She told the Melton Times: “All four of my children attend Swallowdale Primary School on Dalby Road and I am now faced with the dilemma of having to pay for child care for all four children for one day, which will be impossible to find as this will be in competition with many other families in the same situation.

“Or I must take a day of unpaid leave.

“I would like the council to consider the cost and added stress this puts on families on an already expensive and stressful time of year.

“As a parent I will not be able to claim back lost earnings or child care costs because the school is closed as a polling station.”

Mrs Jacobs-Perrett added: “Myself and many of the other parents at the school find it totally preposterous that polling cannot be completed in another location.”

Swallowdale is one of four schools among the 63 polling stations due to be used for the election across the borough.

Residents in Dorian Ward, where the Jacobs-Perrett family lives, also have the option of voting at Melton Baptist Church, on Leicester Road.

It is understood that The Edge Community Centre, on Dalby Road, was considered as an option but was discarded because it is not in the ward.

A spokeswoman for Melton Council said: “The council has a responsibility to ensure polling stations are accessible and appropriate for all elections.

“Legislation allows for schools to be used for such purposes.

“The council actively seeks to minimise disruption during an election and has, over a number of years, reduced the number of schools it uses.

“The continued use of the four schools represent long standing arrangements and are the best and only options within polling districts.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.”

Melton Council is currently reviewing which polling stations it uses across the borough which is a process which happens every five years.