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Referendums

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 15 February 2019 is: 4292.

This figure will have effect for the purposes of determining the validity of Petitions presented from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

The number equal to 5% of the local government electors for 2020 will be published within 14 days of the 15 February 2020.  If this number is less than 4292, 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 31 March 2020 shall also be that lower number.

Allen Graham

Electoral Registration Officer

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Friday, 8 February 2019