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Local Government Act 2003

Section 116: Local polls

356.This section confirms, by creation of an express power, the right of a local authority to conduct an advisory poll. There is no obligation on a local authority to hold such a poll, nor any requirement to act in accordance with the result of such a poll.

357.The extent of this express power is broadly drawn, allowing the local authority to hold a poll on any matter relating to the services for which it is responsible (including where these may be delivered by a third party), or the finance that it commits to those services, or any other matter that is one relating to the authority’s power under section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 (authority’s power to promote well-being of its area).

358.The section also provides express freedom to a local authority in determining, for any poll it proposes to hold, who to poll and how the poll is to be conducted. The clause also provides for the Secretary of State in England and the National Assembly for Wales in Wales to be able to issue guidance, to which local authorities must have regard, on facilitating participation by disabled people in a local poll.

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