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.
The Local Government Act 2000 sets 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, operate 'executive arrangements'.
There are three types of executive arrangement set out in the Act. Two of these involve a directly elected mayor, either Mayor and Cabinet or Mayor and Council Manager. The third involves a Leader (who is elected by Councillors) and Cabinet. The third option is what happens at Ipswich Borough Council.
Local residents can require a mayoral referendum by organising a petition signed by 5% of local government electors shown in the electoral register.
Further information on a mayoral referendum is available on the Electoral Commission website.
In accordance with Regulation 4(1) of The Local Authority (Referendums) (Petitions & Directions) (England) Regulations 2001, 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 2018 is 4837.
This figure will have effect for the purposes of determining the validity of Petitions presented from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019.
The number equal to 5% of the local government electors for 2019 will be published within 14 days of the 15th February 2019. If this number is less than 4837, 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 2019 shall also be that lower number.
Proper Officer: Russell Williams
Referendums are now used by some local councils to test public opinion on local issues. These referendums are not regulated by law.