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Referendums - Information

If you are wanting information about any local or national referendums that relate to the Craven District, please contact Otherwise, please contact the Electoral Commission.

UK-wide, National and Regional Referendums

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 establishes a fixed legal framework for the conduct of any referendum held across the UK.  It also applies to regional referendums within England and an Act of Parliament enabled the holding of referendums on regional assemblies in England in the early 2000s. A national referendum was held on 5 May 2011 about the Parliamentary Voting System ands was the first national referendum to be held under this legislation.


Mayoral Referendums

The Local Government Act 2000 set out a major change in the way the main councils in England and Wales are run.  Most of these councils operate executive arrangements.  The exception to this is that some of the smaller district councils, like Craven, are allowed to operate 'alternative' arrangements'.  Effectively, this means making decisions through a modernised committee system.  The types of 'executive arrangement' under the 2000 Act have since been updated by the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.   The main types of executives are leader and executive cabinet; a directly elected mayor; or a mayor and cabinet executive.

Councils consult on which arrangements local people want.  If there is a proposal to have a mayor, the council must hold a binding referendum.  Most, if not all, councils in England have consulted with local people on this issue.  Local residents can also require a mayoral referendum by organising a petition, which has to be signed by at least 5% of the local electors on the Register of Electors.

Further information on a mayoral referendum is available on the Department of Communities and Local Government website.


Other referendums

Referendums can be used by local councils, including the parishes, 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.

For further information about referendums, you should see the Electoral Commission's website (click here).

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