FIVE schools will not have to close during elections any more when changes to polling stations are approved.

Queen’s Park, Hertford Infant, St Paul’s and Middle Street schools in Brighton and Cottesmore St Mary’s Catholic School in Hove have all had to either fully or partly close when used as polling stations.

Following a public consultation by Brighton and Hove City Council, these schools are among a handful of locations which will no longer

be used as polling stations.

Seven schools in the city will still be used as polling stations but of these, only Downs Infants has to close.

The changes will be in place in time for the upcoming police and crime commissioner elections in May next year – but possibly not in time for any general election which could be called before then.

The move follows a public consultation by the city council that took place between August 23 and September 13 this year after more than 450 parents signed a petition asking to move polling stations out of schools.

The petition was led by parents at Downs Infant School in Ditchling Road which will remain a polling place for both Hollingdean and Stanmer ward and St Peter’s and North Laine ward as no alternative could be found.

People responding to the public consultation suggested using the One Church in Florence Road.

One said: “Why remove the polling station from Hertford school but increase the number of voters at Downs Infants School?

“Surely shutting down any school for a polling station has a negative impact on students,

be that Hertford or Downs?”

Logistical reasons were cited as an issue for not using the One Church as it is already a polling station for Preston Park ward and as Downs Infants operates polling stations for two wards, moving would result in voting from three wards at one location.

The policy and resources committee is expected to approve the changes when it meets at Hove Town

Hall from 4pm on Thursday.