There are a number of different referendums that can take place. 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. 

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.

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 have already 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 (10% or more in Wales).

Local Polls

Local Polls are a form of referendum that Councils can carry out to test public opinion within the borough. Local Polls can take place with the use of traditional polling stations or by all-postal ballot. The results of such polls are not binding on a Council. The recent referendum on the Greater Manchester congestion charge is an example of such a poll.  

Elections Team

Second Floor

Howell Croft North

Bolton

BL1 1QY

Telephone 01204 331248
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