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There is a fixed legal framework for the conduct of any referendum held across the UK (United Kingdom), 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.

Mayoral referendums

Most local authorities operate 'executive arrangements'. This does not always include some smaller district councils in the area of a county council. An example of an executive arrangement is the method our leader and cabinet are elected by councillors.

Local authorities can also be run by a directly elected mayor, using either the mayor and cabinet or mayor and council-manager system.

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

This Council does not currently have an elected mayor.

The Local Authorities (Referendums) (Petitions and Directions) Regulations 2000 (as amended) allows a petition to be submitted by 5% of the local government electors shown in the electoral register for the authority requesting a referendum in respect of an elected mayor.

A notice has to be published annually.

Other referendums

Referendums are now regularly used by local councils to test public opinion on local issues. These referendums are not regulated by law and we have no responsibility for the conduct or other aspects of such referendums.

Last updated 20 May 2021
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