Election:  Why some Fifers will be going to hotels to cast their votes next month

When Fifers go to the polls next month, some of them will cast their votes in hotels, a theatre - and even a gym.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 5:49 pm

They are among a number of unorthodox locations commandeered as voting stations for the Scottish elections which go ahead on May 6 as scheduled despite the pandemic.

Fife Council had to think out the box to find venues in order to ensure social distancing could be in place as huge numbers of Fifers went to cast their vote.

The local authority turned to the hospitality industry for the first time.

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Windsor Hotel, Kirkcaldy
Windsor Hotel, Kirkcaldy

In Kirkcaldy, some voters will be sent to the Windsor Hotel.

It has replaced Glebe Park Community Centre, the area’s traditional polling station, which is being used as an NHS COVID testing centre.

Polling booths will also be placed in Mind & Body studio at Seafield, while community venues being deployed include Torbain, Bennochy and Abbotshall Parish Churches, plus Linton Lane Community Centre.

In Glenrothes, the polling stations include Leslie Masonic Hall, and the Nairn Suite at Balgeddie House Hotel.

The Windsor Hotel is one of a number of new venues being used as polling stations

In west Fife, voters will be directed to venues including Steelend Miners Welfare Club, Headwell Bowling Club, the studio theatre at Carnegie Hall and Dunfermline’s Salvation Army Hall.

Mike Melville, electoral services manager, admitted finding appropriate venues for polling places had been more challenging this year.

He said: "We have had to change a number of polling stations to make there is enough space available for social distancing measures, keeping staff and voters safe on polling day.

"A number of our regular buildings are also being used for other purposes including vaccination and community testing centres.

“We've worked closely with NHS Fife to co-exist in a small number of venues including the Corn Exchange in Cupar.”

The council is using more schools again this year as the election co-incides with an in-service day.

The election counts will also be split over two days – it won’t be held overnight – and in two locations with numbers at each strictly limited.

The full list of changes to polling places can be found on the ‘Where to Vote’ tab at Fife Council’s website:

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