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Information about the different types of referendums that can take place.

A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal.

Below is more detail on referendums in general, but if you're interested in the Referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union called for 23 June 2016, please see the EU Referendum page.

There are several types of referendums:

UK-wide, national and regional referendums

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) establishes a fixed legal framework for the conduct of any referendum held across the UK, or a referendum held in Scotland, Wales, England or Northern Ireland. It also applies to regional referendums within England. No referendums have yet been held under this legislation. However, a recent Act of Parliament has enabled the holding of referendums on regional assemblies in England.

The first UK-wide referendum took place on Thursday 5 May 2011. The referendum was on the voting system used for elections to the UK Parliament. The question put to voters was: "The UK uses the ’first past the post’ system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ system be used instead?" The voting public voted 'No'.

Mayoral referendums

The Local Government Act 2000 set out a major change in the way local authorities in England and Wales are run. Most local authorities, except some of the smaller district councils in the area of a county council, operate 'executive arrangements'. There are three types of executive arrangement set out in the Act, two of which involve a directly elected mayor: mayor and cabinet, and mayor and council manager. The other involves a leader (who is elected by councillors) and cabinet, and this is the system operated at Rushcliffe.

Local authorities consult on which arrangements local people want. If there is a proposal to have a mayor, the local authority must hold a binding referendum. Many councils in England conducted consultations with local people on this issue. Local residents can also require a mayoral referendum by organising a petition signed by 5% of local electors or more.

Other referendums

Referendums are now regularly used by local councils to test public opinion on local issues. These referendums are not regulated by law.

Further information on referendums is available on the Electoral Commission website.

Publication of Verification Number

Rushcliffe Borough Council - The Local Authority (Referendums) (Petitions & Directions) (England) Regulations 2000

Rushcliffe Borough Council - The Local Authority (Referendums) (Petitions & Directions) (England) Regulations 2000

Publication of Verification Number

In accordance with Regulation 4(1) of the above regulations the number that is equal to 5% of the number of local government electors shown in the revised register of electors having effect on the 15th February 2017 is: 4270

This figure will have effect for the purposes of determining the validity of Petitions presented from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018.

The number equal to 5% of the local government electors for 2018 will be published within 14 days of the 15th February 2018.  If this number is less than 4270, the number to be used for verification purposes in relation to any petition submitted for the period beginning on the date of publication of the lower number until 31st March 2018 shall also be that lower number.

Allen Graham

Electoral Registration Officer

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Friday, 10 February 2017

Keyworth Neighbourhood Planning Referendum

Information Statement

On 16 March 2018, Rushcliffe Borough Council accepted the recommendations of the Independent Examiner for the Keyworth Neighbourhood Plan. This decision enables a referendum to take place for the Keyworth Neighbourhood Plan.

A neighbourhood planning referendum will be held for the Keyworth Neighbourhood Plan on Wednesday 30 May 2018.

The question to be asked in the referendum will be:
“Do you want Rushcliffe Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Keyworth to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

The referendum area and the area covered by the  neighbourhood plan is the parisharea of Keyworth, as shown on the attached plan.

A person is entitled to vote in the referendum if, on Friday 11 May 2018:

  • He or she is entitled to vote in a local government election in the Referendum Area; and
  • His or her qualifying address for the election is in the referendum area. A person's qualifying address is, in relation to a person registered in the register of electors, the address in respect of which he or she is entitled to be registered.

The Referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the referendum is £2684.79

The number of persons entitled to vote in the referendum by reference to which the limit has been calculated is 5471.

The Referendum will be conducted in accordance with procedures which are similar to those used at local government elections.


Paper copies of the Specified Documents (listed below) are also available to view at:

  • Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre, Rectory Road, West Bridgford, NG2 6BU (during normal office hours)
  • Keyworth Parish Council Offices, Village Hall, Elm Avenue, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5AN (during normal office hours)
  • Keyworth Library, Church Drive, Keyworth, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG12 5FF (during normal office hours)


The Specified Documents are:


 The result was 83.5% in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan Declaration of result