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The Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012

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Statutory Instruments

2012 No. 444

Council Tax, England

The Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012

Made

17th February 2012

Coming into force in accordance with regulation 1

The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992(1).

The Secretary of State has consulted the Electoral Commission about these Regulations in accordance with section 52ZQ(6) of that Act.

In accordance with section 52ZQ(7) of that Act, a draft of this instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 and come into force on the day after the day on which they are made.

Interpretation

2.  (1)  In these Regulations—

“the 1972 Act” means the Local Government Act 1972(2);

“the 1983 Act” means the Representation of the People Act 1983(3);

“the 1985 Act” means the Representation of the People Act 1985(4);

“the 1988 Act” means the Local Government Finance Act 1988(5);

“the 1992 Act” means the Local Government Finance Act 1992(6);

“the 2000 Act” means the Local Government Act 2000(7);

“the 2008 Regulations” means the Local Government (Structural Changes) (Finance) Regulations 2008(8);

“the 2011 Act” means the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011(9);

“the Representation of the People Regulations” means the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001(10);

“the Combination of Polls Regulations” means the Representation of the People (Combination of Polls)(England and Wales) Regulations 2004(11);

“the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules” means the rules set out in Schedule 3;

“the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules” means the rules set out in Schedule 5;

“authority” means an authority of the kind mentioned in section 52ZA(1);

“campaign organiser” means the individual or body by whom, or on whose behalf, referendum expenses are incurred (including expenses treated as incurred) in connection with a referendum campaign;

“chief counting officer” means the person appointed under regulation 16;

“counting observer” means a person appointed by a counting officer under rule 18(2) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or rule 18(1) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be);

“counting officer” means a person referred to in regulation 15;

“European Parliamentary election” and “European Parliamentary general election” must be construed in accordance with section 27(1) of the 1985 Act(12);

“Local Government Act referendum” means a referendum held under section 9M (cases in which change is subject to approval in a referendum etc) of the 2000 Act, or by virtue of regulations or an order made under any provision of Part 1A (arrangements with respect to local authority governance in England) of that Act;

“local government election” must be construed in accordance with section 203(1) of the 1983 Act;

“notification date” means the date on which the notice required to be published by regulation 4, 5 or 6 (as the case may be) is published;

“police and crime commissioner” means an individual elected as a police and crime commissioner by relevant electors within the police area in accordance with provisions made by or under Chapter 6 of Part 1 of the 2011 Act;

“police area” must be construed in accordance with section 102 of the 2011 Act;

“police and crime commissioner election” must be construed in accordance with provision made by or under section 50 or 51 of the 2011 Act;

“polling observer” means a person appointed by a counting officer under rule 18(1) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or rule 19(1) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be);

“referendum” means a referendum held under section 52ZG or section 52ZN (arrangements for referendum);

“referendum expenses limit” has the meaning given by regulation 12;

“referendum period”, in relation to a referendum, means the period beginning with the notification date and ending on the date of the referendum;

“relevant billing authority” means the billing authority required to make arrangements to hold the referendum by virtue of section 52ZG or 52ZN of the 1992 Act;

“relevant election or referendum” means one or more of the following—

(a)

another referendum;

(b)

a Parliamentary election;

(c)

a European Parliamentary election;

(d)

a local government election;

(e)

a mayoral election;

(f)

a Local Government Act referendum;

(g)

a police and crime commissioner election,

the poll at which is taken together with the poll at the referendum;

“relevant financial year” has the meaning given in regulation 4, 5 or 6 (as the case may be);

“special item” has the meaning given in section 89(2) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999(13);

“voting area” means the area in which a referendum is held.

(2) For the purposes of these Regulations—

(a)a billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is not approved if it is not approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum;

(b)a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is not approved if—

(i)in a case where one referendum is held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year, that amount is not approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum, or

(ii)in a case where two or more referendums are held in respect of that amount, that amount is not approved by a majority of persons voting in all of those referendums taken together.

(3) Any reference in the following provisions of these Regulations to the authority in respect of which a referendum is held is to the authority which calculated a relevant basic amount of council tax requiring a referendum to be held under section 52ZG or 52ZN.

(4) Any reference in the following provisions of these Regulations to a section followed by a number is, unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to the section of the 1992 Act that bears that number.

Question to be asked in a referendum

3.  (1)  The question to be asked in the referendum is to be in the form set out in Schedule 1.

(2) Where—

(a)a referendum is held in relation to the Greater London Authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year; and

(b)the special item does not apply to the relevant billing authority’s area,

references to an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax in Schedule 1 are to be interpreted as references to the authority’s unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax(14).

(3) Where—

(a)a referendum is held in relation to the Greater London Authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year; and

(b)the special item applies to the relevant billing authority’s area,

references to an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax in Schedule 1 are to be interpreted as references to the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax(15).

Publicity and other information to be provided in connection with referendums by billing authorities

4.  (1)  This regulation applies where a billing authority has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year (the relevant financial year) is excessive under section 52ZB(1).

(2) Where this regulation applies, the authority must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held in accordance with sub-paragraph (b) below, publish in such a manner as it considers likely to bring to the attention of persons who live in the authority’s area, a notice which contains a statement—

(a)that a referendum is required to be held on the authority’s council tax increase for the relevant financial year in accordance with Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;

(b)of the date on which the referendum will be held;

(c)of the question to be asked in the referendum;

(d)that the referendum will be conducted in accordance with procedures similar to those used at local government elections;

(e)of the referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the referendum and the number of local government electors by reference to which that limit has been calculated;

(f)of the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year;

(g)of the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year preceding the relevant financial year;

(h)of the percentage change in the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place;

(i)of what the amount calculated by the authority as its relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(j)of what the percentage change in the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(k)that, not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the authority will publish a statement containing the matters referred to in regulation 7(1);

(l)of the procedures for obtaining a copy of the statement referred to in sub-paragraph (k).

(3) Where paragraph (4) applies, the notice published under paragraph (2) must include an explanation that—

(a)the amounts stated in the question to be asked in the referendum under paragraph (2)(c) and the amounts stated in sub-paragraphs (f) to (j) of paragraph (2) above do not take into account the amount of any levies; and

(b)the referendum is not being held in relation to the authority’s expenditure on such levies.

(4) This paragraph applies where the authority is—

(i)issued with a levy or special levy for the relevant financial year, or

(ii)the authority anticipates such a levy in pursuance of regulations under section 74 or 75 of the 1988 Act.

(5) The notice published under paragraph (2) may also include—

(a)any other factual information relating to the authority’s council tax or the referendum so far as it is presented fairly, or

(b)details of the procedures for obtaining such other factual information.

Publicity and other information to be provided in connection with referendums by precepting authorities other than the Greater London Authority

5.  (1)  This regulation applies where a precepting authority, other than the Greater London Authority, has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year (the relevant financial year) is excessive under section 52ZB(3) or (5).

(2) Where this regulation applies, the authority must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held in accordance with sub-paragraph (c) below, publish in such a manner as it considers likely to bring to the attention of persons who live in the authority’s area, a notice which contains a statement—

(a)that a referendum is required to be held on the authority’s council tax increase for the relevant financial year in accordance with Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;

(b)that arrangements to hold the referendum will be made by relevant billing authorities which are to be specified in the notice;

(c)of the date on which the referendum will be held;

(d)of the question to be asked in the referendum;

(e)that the referendum will be conducted in accordance with procedures similar to those used at local government elections;

(f)of the referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the referendum and the number of local government electors by reference to which that limit has been calculated;

(g)of the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year;

(h)of the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year preceding the relevant financial year;

(i)of the percentage change in the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place;

(j)of what the amount calculated by the authority as its relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(k)of what the percentage change in the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(l)that, not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the authority will publish a statement containing the matters referred to in regulation 7(2) or (4) (as the case may be);

(m)of the procedures for obtaining a copy of the statement referred to in sub-paragraph (l) .

(3) Where paragraph (4) applies, the notice published under paragraph (2) must include an explanation that—

(a)the amounts stated in the question to be asked in the referendum under paragraph (2)(c) and the amounts stated in sub-paragraphs (h) to (l) of paragraph (2) do not take into account the amount of any levies; and

(b)the referendum is not being held in relation to the authority’s expenditure on such levies.

(4) This paragraph applies where the precepting authority is a county council and—

(i)the authority is issued with a levy for the year, or

(ii)the authority anticipates such a levy in pursuance of regulations under section 74 of the 1988 Act.

(5) The notice published under paragraph (2) may also include—

(a)any other factual information relating to the authority’s council tax or the referendum so far as it is presented fairly, or

(b)details of the procedures for obtaining such other factual information.

Publicity and other information to be provided in connection with referendums by the Greater London Authority

6.  (1)  This paragraph applies where the Greater London Authority has determined under section 52ZB(3) that—

(a)its adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year (the relevant financial year) is excessive; and

(b)its unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year is not excessive.

(2) Where paragraph (1) applies, the authority must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendums will be held in accordance with sub-paragraph (d), publish in such a manner as it considers likely to bring to the attention of persons who live in the authority’s area, a notice which contains a statement —

(a)that referendums are required to be held on the authority’s council tax increase for the relevant financial year in accordance with Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;

(b)that arrangements to hold the referendums will be made by relevant billing authorities which are to be specified in the notice.

(c)that a referendum will not be held in the area of the Greater London Authority to which the special item does not apply and an explanation as to why this is the case;

(d)of the date on which the referendums will be held;

(e)of the question to be asked in the referendums;

(f)that the referendums will be conducted in accordance with procedures similar to those used at local government elections;

(g)of the referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the referendums and the number of local government electors by reference to which that limit has been calculated;

(h)of the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year;

(i)of the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year preceding the relevant financial year;

(j)of the percentage change in the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place;

(k)of what the amount calculated by the authority as its adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(l)of what the percentage change in the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(m)that, not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the authority will publish a statement containing the matters referred to in regulation 7(3);

(n)of the procedures for obtaining a copy of the statement referred to in sub-paragraph (m).

(3) This paragraph applies where the Greater London Authority has determined that its unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year (the relevant financial year) is excessive (whether or not it has also determined that its adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year is excessive) under section 52ZB(3).

(4) Where paragraph (3) applies, the authority must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held in accordance with sub-paragraph (c) below, publish in such a manner as it considers likely to bring to the attention of persons who live in the authority’s area, a notice which contains a statement—

(a)that referendums are required to be held on the authority’s council tax increase for the relevant financial year in accordance with Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;

(b)that arrangements to hold the referendums will be made by relevant billing authorities which are to be specified in the notice;

(c)of the date on which the referendums will be held;

(d)of the question to be asked in a referendum where the special item applies to the relevant billing authority’s area;

(e)of the question to be asked in a referendum where the special item does not apply to the relevant billing authority’s area.

(f)that the referendums will be conducted in accordance with procedures similar to those used at local government elections;

(g)of the referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the referendums and the number of local government electors by reference to which that limit has been calculated;

(h)of the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year;

(i)of the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year preceding the relevant financial year;

(j)of the percentage change in the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place;

(k)of what the amount calculated by the authority as its adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(l)of what the percentage change in the authority’s adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(m)of the authority’s unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year preceding the relevant financial year;

(n)of the percentage change in the authority’s unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place;

(o)of what the amount calculated by the authority as its unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(p)of what the percentage change in the authority’s unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place would be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved;

(q)that, not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the authority will publish a statement containing the matters referred to in regulation 7(3);

(r)of the procedures for obtaining a copy of the statement referred to in sub-paragraph (q).

(5) The notice published under paragraph (4) must include an explanation of the areas to which the different amounts stated in sub-paragraphs (h) to (p) of paragraph (4) relate.

(6) Where paragraph (7) applies, the notice published under paragraph (2) or (4) above must include an explanation that—

(a)the amounts stated in the question to be asked in the referendum under paragraph (2)(d) or sub-paragraphs (d) and (e) of paragraph (4) (as the case may be) and the amounts stated in sub-paragraphs (h) to (l) of paragraph (2) or sub-paragraphs (h) to (p) of paragraph (4) (as the case may be) do not take into account the amount of any levies; and

(b)the referendum is not being held in relation to the authority’s expenditure on such levies.

(7) This paragraph applies where—

(a)a constituent body(16) is issued with a levy for the year; or

(b)the authority anticipates such a levy under section 74 of the 1988 Act.

(8) The notice published under paragraph (2) or (4), may also include—

(a)any other factual information relating to the authority’s council tax or the referendum so far as it is presented fairly, or

(b)details of the procedures for obtaining such other factual information.

Further information to be provided in connection with a referendum

7.  (1)  As soon as is reasonably practicable after a billing authority has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the authority must publish a statement—

(a)of the amount which, in relation to the relevant financial year, and each category of dwellings in the authority’s area, has been calculated (or last calculated) by the authority in accordance with sections 31A, 31B and 34 to 36 but as if section 31A did not require it or permit it to take into account the amount of any precepts—

(i)issued to it for the year by local precepting authorities, or

(ii)anticipated by it in pursuance of regulations under section 41;

(b)of the amount, which in relation to the relevant financial year, and each category of dwellings in the authority’s area, has been calculated by the authority in accordance with section 52ZF but as if section 31A did not require it or permit it to take into account the amount of any precepts—

(i)issued to it for the year by local precepting authorities, or

(ii)anticipated by it in pursuance of regulations under section 41; and

(c)of the expenses it estimates it will incur in connection with the referendum.

(2) As soon as is reasonably practicable after a major precepting authority, other than the Greater London Authority, has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the authority must publish a statement—

(a)of the amount which, in relation to the relevant financial year and each category of dwellings in the authority’s area, has been calculated (or last calculated) by the authority in accordance with sections 42A, 42B and 45 to 47;

(b)of the amount which, in relation to the relevant financial year and each category of dwellings in the authority’s area, has been calculated by the authority in accordance with section 52ZJ(1), (2), (4) and (5); and

(c)of the expenses it estimates it will incur in connection with the referendum.

(3) As soon as is reasonably practicable after the Greater London Authority has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the Authority must publish a statement—

(a)of the amount which, in relation to the relevant financial year and each category of dwellings in the Authority’s area, has been calculated in accordance with the appropriate Greater London provisions;

(b)of the amount which, in relation to the relevant financial year and each category of dwellings in the Authority’s area has been calculated by the Authority in accordance with section 52ZJ(3), (6) and (7); and

(c)of the expenses it estimates it will incur in connection with the referendum.

(4) As soon as is reasonably practicable after a local precepting authority has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive, and not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held, the authority must publish a statement—

(a)of the amount which, in relation to the relevant financial year, would be calculated by the authority as applicable to dwellings listed in different valuation bands in the authority’s area in accordance with regulation 8(1);

(b)of the amount which, in relation to the relevant financial year, would be calculated by the authority as applicable to dwellings listed in different valuation bands in the authority’s area in accordance with regulation 8(2); and

(c)of the expenses it estimates it will incur in connection with the referendum.

(5) As soon as is reasonably practicable after a referendum has been held, the authority in respect of which the referendum was held must publish a final statement of the expenses it incurred in connection with the referendum.

(6) An authority shall assume for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a) and (b) that each of the valuation bands is shown in its valuation list as applicable to one or more dwellings situated in its area or (as the case may be) each part of its area as respects which different calculations have been so made.

(7) An authority shall assume for the purposes of paragraphs (2)(a) and (b), (3)(a) and (b) and (4)(a) and (b) that each of the valuation bands is shown in each appropriate billing authority’s valuation list as applicable to one or more dwellings situated in its area or (as the case may be) each part of its area as respects which different calculations have been so made.

(8) The statement published under paragraph (1)(a) and (b), paragraph (2)(a) and (b), paragraph (3)(a) and (b) and paragraph (4)(a) and (b) must include an explanation that the amounts stated in accordance with those sub-paragraphs represent only part of the council tax that is or will be applicable to dwellings situated in the authority’s area.

(9) Dwellings fall within different categories for the purposes of—

(a)paragraph (1)(a) and (b), according as different calculations have been made in relation to them in accordance with sections 31A, 31B, 34 to 36 and 52ZF,

(b)paragraph (2)(a) and (b), according as different calculations have been made in relation to them in accordance with sections 42A, 42B, 45 to 47, and 52ZJ, and

(c)paragraph (3)(a) and (b), according as different calculations have been made in relation to them in accordance with the appropriate Greater London provisions and section 52ZJ.

(10) In this regulation—

“appropriate Greater London provisions” has the meaning given in section 40(10).

“appropriate billing authority” has the meaning given in section 39(4).

Calculation of tax for different valuation bands by local precepting authority

8.  (1)  The amounts to be stated in accordance with regulation 7(4)(a) for a relevant financial year in respect of dwellings listed in a particular valuation band shall be calculated by applying the formula—

where—

A is the amount calculated by the local precepting authority for the relevant financial year under section 52ZX(5);

N is the number which, in the proportion set out in section 5(1), is applicable to dwellings listed in that valuation band; and

D is the number which, in that proportion, is applicable to dwellings listed in valuation band D.

(2) The amounts to be stated in accordance with regulation 7(4)(b) for a relevant financial year for dwellings listed in a particular valuation band shall be calculated by applying the formula—

where—

S is the amount produced by applying section 52ZX to the substitute calculations made in relation to the relevant financial year and the authority under section 52ZL; and

N and D have the same meaning as in paragraph (1).

Provision of information by relevant billing authority

9.  A relevant billing authority must provide a precepting authority with such information as the precepting authority may reasonably require in exercising its functions under these Regulations.

Restriction on publication etc of promotional material

10.  (1)  This regulation applies to any material which—

(a)provides general information about the referendum;

(b)deals with any of the issues raised by the question to be asked in the referendum; or

(c)puts any arguments for or against a particular answer to that question.

(2) No material to which this regulation applies is to be published by or on behalf of an authority during the period of restriction.

(3) Paragraph (2) does not apply to—

(a)material made available to persons in response to specific requests for information or to persons specifically seeking access to it;

(b)the publication of information relating to the holding of the poll at the referendum;

(c)the publication of press notices containing factual information where the sole purpose of the publication is to refute or correct any inaccuracy in material published by a person other than the authority;

(d)material published in accordance with regulations 4 to 7 or 11; or

(e)material published in accordance with the Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011(17).

(4) In this regulation “publish” means make available to the public at large, or to any section of the public, in whatever form and by whatever means (including, in particular, by inclusion in any programme included in a programme service within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990(18)); and publication is to be construed accordingly.

(5) The period of restriction begins on the date on which an authority determines that its relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year is excessive under section 52ZB and ends on the date of the referendum.

Statement of reasons for council tax increase

11.  (1)  An authority may publish a statement on or after the notification date explaining—

(a)the reasons for the authority’s council tax increase; and

(b)the likely consequences if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year is not approved.

(2) Any statement published under paragraph (1) must also include—

(a)the matters stated in the notice required to be published under regulation 4, 5, or 6 (as the case may be); and

(b)an explanation that it has been published in pursuance of this regulation.

(3) The statement may also include details of the procedures for obtaining other factual information relating to the authority’s council tax or the referendum so far as that information is presented fairly.

(4) The statement must be published not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held.

General restriction on referendum expenses

12.  (1)  In this regulation and in regulation 13—

“referendum campaign” means a campaign conducted with a view to promoting or procuring a particular outcome in relation to the question to be asked in one or more referendums required to be held in respect of an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year;

“referendum expenses” means the expenses incurred by or on behalf of any individual or body during the referendum period for referendum purposes in respect of any of the matters set out in paragraphs 1 to 7 of Schedule 2, as read in accordance with paragraph 8 of that Schedule;

“referendum expenses limit” means—

(a)

where there is a referendum campaign in relation to the question to be asked in one referendum, the aggregate of £2,362 and the amount found by multiplying 5.9 pence the number of entries in the relevant register for that referendum; or

(b)

where there is a referendum campaign in relation to the question to be asked in two or more referendums required to be held in respect of an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year, the aggregate of £2,362 and the amount found by multiplying 5.9 pence the number of entries in the relevant register for each of those referendums taken together;

“for referendum purposes” means—

(a)

in connection with the conduct or management of any campaign conducted with a view to promoting or procuring a particular outcome in relation to the question asked in one or more referendums required to be held in respect of an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year; or

(b)

otherwise in connection with promoting or procuring any such outcome;

“the relevant register”, in relation to a referendum, means the register (or registers) or part of the register of local government electors published under section 13 (publication of registers) of the 1983 Act after the conclusion of the canvass conducted under section 10 of that Act in the year immediately preceding that in which the referendum is held, which has (or have) effect in the voting area (whether or not the persons to whom these entries relate are entitled to vote in the referendum).

(2) The total referendum expenses incurred, or in accordance, with regulation 13, treated as incurred, by or on behalf of any individual or body must not exceed the referendum expenses limit.

(3) Where any referendum expenses are incurred in excess of the referendum expenses limit, a person who knew or ought reasonably to have known that that limit would be exceeded, or who, without reasonable excuse, authorises another person to exceed that limit, is guilty of an offence.

(4) Where information is given to the Director of Public Prosecutions that an offence under paragraph (3) has been committed, it is his duty to make such inquiries and institute such prosecutions as the circumstances of the case appear to him to require.

(5) Where an offence under paragraph (3) which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to have been attributable to any neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or any other person purporting to act in such capacity, that person, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of an offence and is liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(6) A person who commits an offence under paragraph (3) is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both; or

(b)on conviction on indictment, to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

(7) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003(19), the reference in paragraph (6)(a) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(8) Nothing in paragraph (2) affects the right of any creditor who, when the expenses were incurred, was ignorant of that expense being in contravention of that paragraph.

Notional referendum expenses

13.  (1)  This regulation applies where—

(a)property, services or facilities is or are provided for the use or benefit of any person either—

(i)free of charge, or

(ii)at a discount of more than 10 per cent of the commercial rate for the use of the property or for the provision of the services or facilities; and

(b)the property, services or facilities is or are made use of by or on behalf of that person in circumstances such that, if any expenses were to be (or are) actually incurred by him or on his behalf in respect of that use, they would be (or are) referendum expenses incurred by him or on his behalf.

(2) Subject to paragraph (5), where this regulation applies, an amount of referendum expenses determined in accordance with paragraph (3) is, unless it is not more than £200, to be treated for the purposes of regulation 12 as incurred by that person for the period for which the property, services or facilities is or are made use of as mentioned in paragraph (1)(b).

(3) The amount mentioned in paragraph (2) is such proportion of either—

(a)the commercial rate for use of the property or the provision of the services or facilities (where the property, services or facilities is or are provided free of charge), or

(b)the difference between that commercial rate and the amount of the expenses actually incurred by or on behalf of that person in respect of the use of the property or the provision of the services or facilities (where the property, services or facilities is or are provided at a discount),

as is reasonably attributable to the use made of the property, services or facilities as mentioned in paragraph (1)(b).

(4) Where the services of an employee are made available by his or her employer for the use or benefit of a person, the amount which is to be taken as constituting the commercial rate for the provision of those services is the amount of the remuneration or allowances payable to the employee by his employer in respect of the period for which his services are made available (but that amount is not to include any amount in respect of contributions or other payments for which the employer is liable in respect of that employee).

(5) No amount of referendum expenses is to be regarded as incurred by virtue of paragraph (2) in respect of the provision by any individual of his or her own services which that person provides voluntarily in his or her own time and free of charge.

Conduct of referendum: poll at referendum not taken together with poll at relevant election or referendum

14.  (1)  A referendum is to be conducted in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules, unless the poll at the referendum is taken together with the poll at a relevant election or referendum.

(2) The provisions mentioned in the first column of Tables 1 to 6 of Schedule 4 have effect in relation to referendums, subject to the modifications specified in that Schedule and to any contrary provision in these Regulations.

Counting officer

15.  (1)  Where the relevant billing authority is—

(a)a district council,

(b)a county council,

(c)a London borough council, or

(d)the Council of the Isles of Scilly,

functions conferred by these Regulations on the counting officer are to be exercised by the person who is for the time being the returning officer at elections of councillors for the area of that authority by virtue of section 35(1) or (3) (returning officers: local elections) of the 1983 Act.

(2) Where the relevant billing authority is the Common Council, functions conferred by these Regulations on the counting officer are to be exercised by the person who is for the time being appointed by the Common Council to act as the counting officer at the referendum.

(3) This regulation is subject to regulation 18(2) (combination of polls).

(4) It is the counting officer’s general duty at the referendum to do all such acts and things as may be necessary for effectually conducting the referendum in the manner provided by these Regulations.

(5) The counting officer must also appoint and pay any such persons as may be necessary for the purpose of the counting of the votes.

Chief Counting Officer

16.  (1)  This regulation applies where two or more referendums are held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year.

(2) Where this regulation applies the precepting authority must appoint a person to be Chief Counting Officer in relation to those referendums.

(3) The Chief Counting Officer may give, to a counting officer, directions relating to the discharge of his or her functions at the referendum, including directions requiring the provision to the Chief Counting Officer of any information which the counting officer has or is entitled to have and directions requiring them to take specified steps in preparation for the referendum.

(4) It shall be the duty of a counting officer to whom directions are given under paragraph (3) to discharge his or her functions at the referendum in accordance with the directions.

Combination and timing of polls: general

17.  (1)  Where a relevant billing authority is required to make arrangements to hold two or more referendums in respect of amounts calculated by authorities in relation to the same financial year, the polls at those referendums must be taken on the same day and they must be taken together.

(2) Where the poll at a referendum would be taken on a day that falls within the period beginning 28 days before the day on which the poll is to be taken at an election or referendum of a description mentioned in paragraph (3), the poll at the referendum may, subject to paragraphs (4) and (6), be taken on the day on which the poll is to be taken at the election or other referendum; and the polls may be taken together if the returning officer or counting officer for the election or other referendum and the counting officer for the referendum think fit.

(3) The descriptions of elections and referendums mentioned in this paragraph are—

(a)an ordinary election of councillors for a county electoral division or a district or London borough ward (as the case may be) of the relevant billing authority;

(b)an ordinary election of councillors for a county electoral division or a district or London borough ward (as the case may be) of any other authority, where that division or ward is wholly or partly within the area of the relevant billing authority;

(c)where the relevant billing authority is the Council of the Isles of Scilly, an ordinary election of councillors for the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(d)a parliamentary general election;

(e)an election to fill a vacancy in a parliamentary constituency that is wholly or partly within the area of the relevant billing authority;

(f)a European Parliamentary general election;

(g)a European Parliamentary election in respect of an electoral region within the meaning of section 1 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002(20) in which the area of the relevant billing authority falls;

(h)an ordinary election within the meaning of Part 1 (the Greater London Authority) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999(21), where the relevant billing authority is a London borough or the City of London;

(i)an election (other than an ordinary election) of the Mayor of London under section 16(2) (filling a vacancy in the office of Mayor) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, where the relevant billing authority is a London borough or the City of London;

(j)an ordinary election of police and crime commissioners under section 50 of the 2011 Act;

(k)an election to fill a vacancy in the office of a police and crime commissioner under section 51 of the 2011 Act for a police area in which the area of the relevant billing authority falls;

(l)a Local Government Act referendum held by the relevant billing authority or by an authority whose area includes the area of the relevant billing authority;

(m)an election of an elected mayor for the relevant billing authority or an authority whose area includes the area of the relevant billing authority;

(n)an election under section 89 (filling of casual vacancies in the case of councillors) of the Local Government Act 1972(22) for an electoral area of the relevant billing authority;

(o)an election under section 10 (filling a vacancy in an Assembly constituency) of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 for an electoral area of the relevant billing authority; or

(p)an ordinary election of councillors for a parish council where the parish falls within the area of the relevant billing authority.

(4) Where the poll at a referendum would be taken together with the poll at an election of a description mentioned in paragraph (3)(d), (e), (g), (i) or (k), paragraph (2) does not apply where notice of the date of the referendum is given under regulation 4, 5 or 6 before the date on which notice is given of the date of election, and the date of the referendum is not the same as that of the election.

(5) In a case to which paragraph (4) applies, the poll at a referendum is to be taken on the day of which the notice has been given under regulation 4, 5 or 6.

(6) Where two or more referendums are required to be held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a relevant financial year—

(a)those referendums must all be held on the same day, and

(b)where a poll or other referendum mentioned in paragraph (3) is to be held on a day other than the date on which the referendums are required to be held under section 52ZN(2) the referendums may only be taken on the same day as that poll if the returning officer or counting officer for the election or other referendum and the counting officer for each of those referendums think fit.

(7) Where the polls at any election or referendums are combined under this regulation the cost of taking the combined polls (excluding any cost solely attributable to one election or referendum) and any cost attributable to their combination shall be apportioned equally among the elections or referendums.

Combination and timing of referendum and election polls: conduct of referendum

18.  (1)  This paragraph applies, in relation to the referendum, where polls are taken together in accordance with regulation 17(1) or (2).

(2) Where paragraph (1) applies —

(a)the referendum is to be conducted in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules, and

(b)the provisions specified in the first column of Tables 1 to 7 of Schedule 4 have effect in relation to the referendum, subject to the modifications specified in that Schedule and to any contrary provision of these Regulations.

(3) Where the polls at an election or referendum of a description mentioned in regulation 17(3) are held on the same day as a referendum, a person who is entitled to vote at the referendum is to be treated as being entitled to vote by post or to vote by proxy at the referendum, where he or she is entitled under Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 2000(23) to vote by post, or to vote by proxy, at the election or other referendum.

Combination and timing of referendum and election polls: supplementary provisions relating to elections

19.  (1)  Paragraph (2) applies, in relation to the election or elections (as the case may be), where polls are taken together in accordance with regulation 17(2).

(2) The provisions specified in the first column of Tables 2, 3 and 6 to 12 of Schedule 4 have effect in relation to elections to which this paragraph applies, subject to the modifications specified in that Schedule and to any contrary provision of these Regulations.

(3) Paragraph (4) applies, in relation to the Local Government Act referendum or referendums (as the case may be), where polls are taken together in accordance with regulation 17(2).

(4) The provisions specified in the first column of Tables 7 and 13 have effect in relation to a Local Government Act referendum to which this paragraph applies, subject to the modifications specified in that Schedule and to any contrary provision of these Regulations.

Procedures for questioning referendum

20.  (1)  A referendum under these Regulations may be questioned by petition (“a referendum petition”)—

(a)on the ground that the result of the referendum was not in accordance with the votes cast;

(b)on the ground that the referendum was avoided by such corrupt or illegal practices, within the meaning of the 1983 Act, as are relevant to referendums by virtue of regulation 14 or 18 or paragraph (9),

(c)on the grounds provided by section 164 (avoidance of election for general corruption etc) of the 1983 Act, as applied for the purposes of these Regulations by paragraph (9), or

(d)on the ground that a payment of money or other reward has been made or promised since the referendum in pursuance of a corrupt or illegal practice relevant to the referendum by virtue of regulation 14 or 18 or paragraph (9).

(2) In a case where two or more referendums are held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year—

(a)references in this regulation and regulations 21 and 22 to a referendum are to be read as references to all of those referendums; and

(b)the reference to the result of the referendum in paragraph (1)(a) is to be read as a reference to the result of the referendums taken together.

(3) A referendum petition on any of the grounds specified in paragraph (1)(a) to (c) must be presented not later than 21 days after the day on which the referendum was held.

(4) A referendum petition on the ground mentioned in paragraph (1)(d) may be presented only with the leave of the High Court.

(5) An application for leave must be made, not later than 28 days after the date of the alleged payment or promise, by application notice to the court at such time and place as the court may appoint.

(6) Not less than seven days before the day so appointed the applicant must—

(a)serve the application notice on the respondent and the Director of Public Prosecutions and lodge a copy in the election petitions office; and

(b)publish notice of the intended application in at least one newspaper circulating in the voting area for the referendum to which the application relates.

(7) The application notice must state the grounds on which the application is made.

(8) A referendum petition is to be tried by an election court, that is to say, a court constituted under section 130 (election court for local election in England and Wales, and place of trial) of the 1983 Act for the trial of an election petition, as applied by paragraph (9).

(9) Schedule 6 contains provisions which have effect in relation to the questioning of a referendum as they have effect in relation to the questioning of an election under the Local Government Act 1972 subject to the modifications specified in that Schedule and to any contrary provision of these Regulations.

(10) The Election Petition Rules 1960(24) have effect in relation to a referendum petition as they have effect in relation to a local election petition within the meaning of those Rules, subject to the modifications specified in Schedule 7 and to any contrary provision of these Regulations.

Immediate consequences of referendum petitions

21.  (1)  This regulation applies where –

(a)a referendum petition is presented on any of the grounds mentioned in regulation 20(1)(a) to (c); or

(b)leave is granted for the presentation of a referendum petition brought on the ground mentioned in regulation 20(1)(d).

(2) Where the result of the referendum was that that the billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year was—

(a)approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum, the authority’s calculations from which that amount was derived continue to have effect for that year for the purposes of the 1992 Act;

(b)not approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum, the substitute calculations made in relation to the year under section 52ZF continue to have effect in relation to the authority and the financial year.

(3) In a case where—

(a)one referendum was held in respect of the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year; and that amount was approved by a majority voting in the referendum; or

(b)two or more referendums were held in respect of that amount; and that amount was approved by a majority of persons voting in all of those referendums taken together,

the precepting authority’s calculations that include that amount or (as the case may be) from which that amount was derived continue to have effect for the year for the purposes of the 1992 Act.

(4) In a case where—

(a)one referendum was held in respect of the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year, that amount was not approved by a majority voting in the referendum; or

(b)two or more referendums were held in respect of that amount, that amount was not approved by a majority of persons voting in all of those referendums taken together,

any precept issued to a billing authority under section 52ZK or 52ZM as part of a notification that triggered the referendum continues to have effect as a precept issued to that billing authority for the year for the purposes of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of the 1992 Act and subsections (6) to (9) of section 52ZO continue to apply in relation to the precept.

Determination of referendum petitions

22.  (1)  On the substantive hearing of a referendum petition the election court must either—

(a)dismiss the petition; or

(b)allow the petition.

(2) Paragraph (3) applies where—

(a)the result of the referendum was that the billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year was approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum; and

(b)the election court dismisses the petition.

(3) The billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year continues to have effect for the financial year for the purposes of the 1992 Act.

(4) Paragraph (5) applies where—

(a)the result of the referendum was that the billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year was approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum; and

(b)the election court allows the petition.

(5) The billing authority’s substitute calculations made in relation to the year under section 52ZF have effect in relation to the authority and the financial year.

(6) Paragraph (7) applies where—

(a)the result of the referendum was that the billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year was not approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum;

(b)the election court dismisses the petition or allows the petition on the basis that the referendum was void.

(7) The billing authority’s substitute calculations made in relation to the year under section 52ZF continue to have effect in relation to the authority and the financial year.

(8) Paragraph (9) applies where—

(a)the result of the referendum was that the billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year was not approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum; and

(b)the election court allows the petition on the basis that the result of the referendum was not in accordance with the votes cast.

(9) The billing authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year has effect for the financial year for the purposes of the 1992 Act.

(10) Paragraph (11) applies where—

(a)in a case where—

(i)one referendum was held in respect of the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year, that amount was approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum; or

(ii)two or more referendums were held in respect of that amount, that amount was approved by a majority of persons voting in all of those referendums taken together; and

(b)the election court dismisses the petition.

(11) The precepting authority’s calculations from which the amount referred to in paragraph (10)(a)(i) was derived continue to have effect for the year for the purposes of the 1992 Act.

(12) Paragraph (13) applies where—

(a)in a case where—

(i)one referendum was held in respect of the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year; and that amount was approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum; or

(ii)two or more referendums were held in respect of that amount; and that amount was approved by a majority of persons voting in all of those referendums taken together; and

(b)the election court allows the petition.

(13) Any precept issued to a billing authority under section 52ZK or 52ZM as part of a notification that triggered the referendum has effect as a precept issued to that billing authority for the year for the purposes of Chapter 3 of the 1992 Act and subsections (6) to (9) of section 52ZO apply, or continue to apply, as the case may be, in relation to that precept.

(14) Paragraph (15) applies where—

(a)in a case where—

(i)one referendum was held in respect of the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year; and that amount was not approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum; or

(ii)two or more referendums were held in respect of that amount; and that amount was not approved by a majority of persons voting in all of those referendums taken together; and

(b)the election court dismisses the petition or allows it on the basis that the referendum was void.

(15) Any precept issued to a billing authority under section 52ZK or 52ZM as part of a notification that triggered the referendum continues to have effect as a precept issued to that billing authority for the year for the purposes of Chapter 3 of the 1992 Act and subsections (6) to (9) (as the case may be) of section 52ZO or continue to apply in relation to that precept.

(16) Paragraph (17) applies where—

(a)in a case where—

(i)one referendum was held in respect of the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year; and that amount was not approved by a majority of persons voting in the referendum; or

(ii)two or more referendums were held in respect of that amount; and that amount was not approved by a majority of persons voting in all of those referendums taken together; and

(b)the election court allows the petition on the basis that the result of the referendum was not in accordance with the votes cast in the referendum.

(17) The precepting authority’s calculations from which the amount referred to in paragraph (16)(a)(i)was derived have effect for the year for the purposes of the 1992 Act.

Time

23.  (1)  The days mentioned in paragraph (2) are to be disregarded in calculating any period of time for the purposes of regulations 4 to 7 and 11.

(2) The days mentioned in this paragraph are—

(a)a Saturday or Sunday;

(b)Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a day which is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971(25) in England; and

(c)any day appointed as a day of public thanksgiving or mourning.

Advertisements

24.  The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992(26) have effect in relation to the display on any site in a voting area of an advertisement relating specifically to the referendum as they have effect in relation to the display of an advertisement relating specifically to a local government election.

Non-domestic rating: premises used for referendum purposes

25.  In relation to premises in a voting area, section 65(6) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988(27) (occupation for election meetings and polls) has effect as if—

(a)the reference to public meetings in furtherance of a person’s candidature at an election included a reference to public meetings promoting a particular result in the referendum; and

(b)the reference to the use by a returning officer for the purpose of taking the poll in an election included a reference to the use for the purpose of taking the poll in the referendum—

(i)by a person exercising functions of a counting officer in accordance with regulation 15, or

(ii)by a relevant returning or counting officer within the meaning of rule 2(1) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules.

Application of these regulations where authority calculates basic amounts of council tax for its predecessor areas under the 2008 Regulations

26.  (1)  Where the authority calculates basic amounts of council tax for its predecessor areas for a financial year under Part 4 of the 2008 Regulations, references in regulation 4 and in Schedule 1 to the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year are to be read as references to the authority’s uniform amount of tax for that year.

(2) Where an authority calculates basic amounts of council tax for its predecessor areas for the relevant financial year under Part 4 of the 2008 Regulations—

(a)the notice published under paragraph (2) of regulation 4 must also include an explanation—

(i)that the authority has calculated basic amounts of council tax for its predecessor areas under Part 4 of the 2008 Regulations; and

(ii)that information about the amounts applicable to each predecessor area will be included in the statement the authority is required to publish under regulation 7(1),

(b)the references to sections 31B, 34 and 36 in regulation 7(1) are to be read as a references to those sections as modified by paragraphs 2 to 4 of Schedule 2 to the 2008 Regulations.

(3) In this regulation—

“uniform amount of council tax” means the amount that would be calculated for the authority’s area and the year under section 31B(1)(28) of the 1992 Act as modified by paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the 2008 Regulations if section 31A did not require or permit it to take into account the amounts mentioned in section 52ZX(1)(a) and (b);

“predecessor area” has the meaning given in regulation 12(1) of the 2008 Regulations.

Transitional provisions

27.  (1)  In relation to the financial year beginning on 1st April 2012, references in these Regulations to an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year preceding the relevant financial year are references to the amount calculated for the authority and that financial year in accordance with section 52ZX of the 1992 Act as modified by paragraph (2) below.

(2) The modifications to section 52ZX of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 mentioned in paragraph (1) are—

(a)in subsection (1), for “section 31B(1) above if section 31A above” substitute “section 33(1) of this Act as in force before 3rd December 2011, if section 32 of that Act”,

(b)in subsection (2), for “section 42B(1) above” substitute “section 44(1) of this Act as in force before 3rd December 2011”;

(c)in subsection (3), for “section 42B(1) above if section 42A above” substitute “section 44(1) of this Act as in force before 3rd December 2011 if section 43 of that Act”;

(d)in subsection (5)—

(i)in the definition of item R, for “section 49A(4) above” substitute “section 50(4) of this Act as in force before 3rd December 2011”, and

(ii)for the definition of item T substitute—

T is the amount of the authority’s council tax base for the year as calculated in accordance with regulation 6 of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992(29);

(e)in subsection (6) for “section 49A above” substitute “section 50 of this Act as in force before 3rd December 2011”; and

(f)omit subsections (7) and (8).

(3) In relation to the financial year beginning on 1st April 2011, in regulation 26(3)—

(a)the reference to “section 31A” is to be read as if it were a reference to “section 32”, and

(b)the reference to “section 31B(1)” is to be read as if it were a reference to “section 33(1)”.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Andrew Stunell

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Department for Communities and Local Government

17th February 2012

Regulation 3

SCHEDULE 1QUESTION TO BE ASKED IN A REFERENDUM

Part of the council tax in your area goes to [insert name of authority in respect of which the referendum is held].

For the financial year beginning on 1st April [insert relevant financial year][insert name of authority in respect of which referendum is held] has decided to increase the amount it charges by [insert percentage change in relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place].

That decision is subject to the result of a referendum.

If most voters in [insert name of authority in respect of which referendum is held]’s area choose ‘yes’, the increase will be [insert percentage change in the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place].

If most voters in [insert name of authority in respect of which referendum is held]’s area choose ‘no’, the increase will be [insert what the percentage change in the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place will be if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax is not approved].

Do you agree with [insert name of authority in respect of which referendum is held]’s decision to increase the amount it charges by [insert percentage change in authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax from the preceding financial year to the relevant financial year expressed to one decimal place]?

Regulation 12

SCHEDULE 2MATTERS RELEVANT TO REFERENDUM EXPENSES

1.  Advertising of any nature (whatever the medium used).

Expenses in respect of such advertising include agency fees, design costs and other costs in connection with preparing, producing, distributing or otherwise disseminating such advertising or anything incorporating such advertising and intended to be distributed for the purpose of disseminating it.

2.  Unsolicited material addressed to voters (whether addressed to them by name or intended for delivery to households within any particular area or areas).

Expenses in respect of such material include design costs and other costs in connection with preparing, producing or distributing such material (including the cost of postage).

3.  Any material of a description referred to in regulation 10(1) or 11.

4.  Market research or canvassing conducted for the purposes of ascertaining voting intentions.

5.  The provision of any services or facilities in connection with press conferences or other dealings with the media.

6.  Transport (by any means) of persons to any place or places with a view to obtaining publicity in connection with a referendum campaign.

Expenses in respect of the transport of such persons include the costs of hiring a particular means of transport for the whole or part of the referendum period.

7.  Rallies and other events, including public meetings organised so as to obtain publicity in connection with a referendum campaign or for other purposes connected with a referendum campaign.

Expenses in respect of such events include costs in connection with the attendance of persons at such events, the hire of premises for the purposes of such events or the provision of goods, services or facilities at them.

8.  Nothing in paragraphs 1 to 7 is to be taken as extending to—

(a)any expenses in respect of any property, services or facilities so far as those expenses fall to be met out of public funds;

(b)any expenses incurred in respect of the remuneration or allowances payable to any member of staff of the campaign of the campaign organiser;

(c)any expenses incurred in respect of an individual by way of travelling expenses (by any means of transport) or in providing for his accommodation or other personal needs to the extent that the expenses are paid by the individual from his own resources and are not reimbursed to him or her.

Regulation 14

SCHEDULE 3THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE ACT REFERENDUMS RULES

  1. PART 1 Citation and interpretation

    1. 1.Citation

    2. 2.Interpretation

  2. PART 2 Provisions as to time

    1. 3.Timetable

    2. 4.Computation of time

  3. PART 3 General provisions

    1. 5.Notice of referendum

    2. 6.Poll to be taken by ballot

    3. 7.The ballot papers

    4. 8.The corresponding number list

    5. 9.The official mark

    6. 10.Prohibition of disclosure of vote

    7. 11.Use of schools and public rooms

  4. PART 4 Action to be taken before the poll

    1. 12.Notice of poll

    2. 13.Postal ballot papers

    3. 14.Provision of polling stations

    4. 15.Appointment of presiding officers and polling clerks

    5. 16.Issue of official poll cards

    6. 17.Equipment of polling stations

    7. 18.Appointment of polling observers and counting observers

    8. 19.Notification of requirement of secrecy

    9. 20.Return of postal ballot papers

  5. PART 5 The Poll

    1. 21.Admission to polling station

    2. 22.Keeping of order in station

    3. 23.Sealing of ballot boxes

    4. 24.Questions to be put to voters and proxies

    5. 25.Challenge of voter or proxy

    6. 26.Voting procedure

    7. 27.Votes marked by presiding officer

    8. 28.Voting by persons with disabilities

    9. 29.Tendered ballot papers: circumstances where available

    10. 30.Tendered ballot papers: general provisions

    11. 31.Spoilt ballot papers

    12. 32.Correction of errors on day of poll

    13. 33.Adjournment of poll in case of riot

    14. 34.Procedure on close of poll

  6. PART 6 Counting of votes

    1. 35.Attendance at counting of votes

    2. 36.The count

    3. 37.Rejected ballot papers

    4. 38.Decisions on ballot papers

  7. PART 7 Declaration of result and disposal of documents

    1. 39.Declaration of result

    2. 40.Chief Counting Officer’s re-count

    3. 41.Counting officer’s statement and declaration of result

    4. 42.Sealing up of ballot papers

    5. 43.Delivery of documents to relevant registration officer

    6. 44.Orders for production of documents

    7. 45.Retention of documents

  8. PART 8 Appendix of forms

PART 1Citation and interpretation

Citation

1.  These Rules may be cited as the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules.

Interpretation

2.  (1)  In these Rules “voter” means a person entitled to vote on his or her own behalf.

(2) Other expressions used both in these Rules and in the 1983 Act (as it applies to local government elections) have the same meaning in these Rules as they have in that Act.

PART 2Provisions as to time

Timetable

3.  The proceedings at the referendum shall be conducted in accordance with the following Timetable.

Proceedings
Publication of notice of referendumNot later than the twenty-fifth day before the day of referendum
Notice of pollNot later than the sixth day before the day of the referendum
PollingBetween the hours of 7 in the morning and 10 at night on the day of the referendum.

Computation of time

4.  In computing any period of time for the purposes of the Timetable the days mentioned in regulation 23(2)(a) to (c) shall be disregarded, and any such day shall not be treated as a day for the purpose of any proceedings up to the completion of the poll nor shall the counting officer be obliged to proceed with the counting of the votes on such a day.

PART 3General provisions

Notice of referendum

5.  (1)  The counting officer must publish notice of the referendum, stating the date of the poll.

(2) The notice of referendum must state the date by which—

(a)applications to vote by post or by proxy, and

(b)other applications and notices about postal or proxy voting,

must reach the registration officer in order that they may be effective for the referendum.

Poll to be taken by ballot

6.  A poll must be taken at the referendum and the votes at the poll must be given by ballot.

The ballot papers

7.  (1)  The ballot of every person entitled to vote at the referendum must consist of a ballot paper.

(2) Every ballot paper to be used in the referendum must be in the appropriate form in the Appendix.

(3) Every ballot paper must—

(a)be capable of being folded up; and

(b)have a number and other unique identifying mark printed on the back.

The corresponding number list

8.  (1)  The counting officer must prepare a list containing the numbers and other unique identifying marks of all of the ballot papers to be issued by him or her in pursuance of rule 13(1) or provided by that person in pursuance of rule 17(1).

(2) The list must be in the form L1 in the Appendix or a form to like effect.

The official mark

9.  (1)  Every ballot paper must contain an appropriate security marking (the official mark).

(2) The official mark must be kept secret.

(3) The counting officer may use a different official mark for different purposes at the same referendum.

Prohibition of disclosure of vote

10.  No person who has voted at the referendum shall, in any legal proceeding to question the referendum, be required to state for which answer he or she has voted.

Use of schools and public rooms

11.  (1)  The counting officer may use, free of charge, for the purpose of taking the poll or counting the votes—

(a)a room in a school maintained or assisted by a local authority (as defined in the Education Act 1996(30)) or a school in respect of which grants are made out of moneys provided by Parliament to the person or body of persons responsible for the management of the school;

(b)a room the expense of maintaining which is payable out of any rate.

(2) The counting officer must make good any damage done to, and defray any expense incurred by the persons having control over, any such room as mentioned above by reason of its being used for the purpose of taking the poll or counting the votes.

PART 4Action to be taken before the poll

Notice of poll

12.  (1)  The counting officer must publish notice of the poll stating—

(a)the day and hours fixed for the poll; and

(b)the question to be asked in the referendum.

(2) The notice of the poll must be published no later than the sixth day before the date of the referendum.

(3) The counting officer must, not later than the time of the publication of the notice of the poll, also give public notice of—

(a)the situation of each polling station; and

(b)the description of persons entitled to vote there.

Postal ballot papers

13.  (1)  The counting officer must, in accordance with regulations made under the 1983 Act(31), issue to those entitled to vote by post a ballot paper and a postal voting statement in the appropriate form in the Appendix, or a form to like effect, together with such envelopes for their return as may be prescribed by such regulations.

(2) The counting officer must also issue to those entitled to vote by post such information as he or she thinks appropriate about how to obtain—

(a)translations into languages other than English of any directions to or guidance for voters and proxies sent with the ballot paper;

(b)a translation into Braille of such directions or guidance;

(c)graphical representations of such directions or guidance;

(d)the directions or guidance in any other form (including any audible form).

(3) The postal voting statement must include provision for the form to be signed and for stating the date of birth of the voter or proxy.

(4) In the case of a ballot paper issued to a person at an address in the United Kingdom, the counting officer must ensure that the return of the ballot paper and postal voting statement is free of charge to the voter or proxy.

Provision of polling stations

14.  (1)  The counting officer must provide a sufficient number of polling stations and, subject to the following provisions of this rule, must allot the voters to the polling stations in such manner as he or she thinks most convenient.

(2) One or more polling stations may be provided in the same room.

(3) The polling station allotted to voters from any parliamentary polling district wholly or partly within the voting area must, in the absence of special circumstances, be in the parliamentary polling place for that district.

(4) The counting officer must provide each polling station with such number of compartments as may be necessary in which the voters and proxies can mark their votes screened from observation.

Appointment of presiding officers and polling clerks

15.  (1)  The counting officer must appoint and pay a presiding officer to attend at each polling station and such clerks as may be necessary for the purposes of the referendum.

(2) The counting officer may, if he or she thinks fit, preside at a polling station and the provisions of these Rules relating to a presiding officer shall apply to a counting officer so presiding with the necessary modifications as to things to be done by the counting officer to the presiding officer or by the presiding officer to the counting officer.

(3) A presiding officer may do, by the clerks appointed to assist him or her, any act (including the asking of questions) which he or she is required or authorised by these Rules to do at a polling station except order the arrest, exclusion or removal of any person from the polling station.

Issue of official poll cards

16.  (1)  The counting officer must as soon as practicable after the publication of the notice of the referendum send to each voter and proxy an official poll card.

(2) The official poll card must be sent or delivered—

(a)in the case of a voter, to his or her qualifying address, and

(b)in the case of a proxy, to his or her address as shown in the list of proxies.

(3) The official poll card must be in the appropriate form in the Appendix, or a form to the like effect, and must set out—

(a)the name of the relevant billing authority and of the voting area;

(b)the name of the voter and his or her qualifying address and number on the register;

(c)the date and hours of the poll and the situation of the voter’s polling station;

(d)such other information as the counting officer thinks appropriate,

and different information may be provided in pursuance of sub-paragraph (d) to different voters or to different descriptions of voter

(4) In the case of a voter who has an anonymous entry in the register, instead of containing the matter mentioned in paragraph (3)(b), the poll card must contain such matter as is specified in the appropriate form in the Appendix.

(5) In this rule references to a voter—

(a)are to a person who is registered in the register of local government electors for the voting area in question on the last day for the publication of notice of the referendum; and

(b)include a person then shown in the register as below voting age if (but only if) it appears from the register that he or she will be of voting age on the day fixed for the poll.

Equipment of polling stations

17.  (1)  The counting officer must provide each presiding officer with such number of ballot boxes and ballot papers as in the counting officer’s opinion may be necessary.

(2) Every ballot box must be so constructed that the ballot papers can be put in it, but cannot be withdrawn from it, without the box being unlocked or, where the box has no lock, the seal being broken.

(3) The counting officer must provide each polling station with—

(a)materials to enable voters and proxies to mark the ballot papers;

(b)copies of the register of electors for the voting area or such part of it as contains the names of the voters allotted to the station;

(c)the parts of any special lists prepared for the referendum corresponding to the register of electors for the voting area or the part of it provided under sub-paragraph (b);

(d)a list, in the Form L2 in the Appendix or a form to like effect, consisting of that part of the list prepared under rule 8 which contains the numbers (but not the other unique identifying marks) corresponding to those on the ballot papers provided to the presiding officer of the polling station.

(4) The reference in paragraph (3)(b) to the copies of the register of electors includes a reference to copies of any notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act(32) in respect of alterations to the register.

(5) The counting officer must also provide each polling station with—

(a)at least one large version of the ballot paper which must be displayed inside the polling station for the assistance of voters and proxies who are partially sighted; and

(b)a device of such description as is set out in paragraph (9) for enabling voters and proxies who are blind or partially sighted to vote without any need for assistance from the presiding officer or any companion (within the meaning of rule 28(1)).

(6) A notice in the form in the Appendix, giving directions for the guidance of voters and proxies in voting, must be printed in conspicuous characters and exhibited inside and outside every polling station.

(7) The counting officer may also provide copies of the notice mentioned in paragraph (6) in Braille or translated into languages other than English as he or she considers appropriate, provided that these notices are accurate reproductions in Braille or that other language of that notice.

(8) In every compartment of every polling station there must be exhibited the notice “REFERENDUM on [Specify name of authority in respect of which referendum is held]’s council tax increase for the financial year [specify financial year] ”. Mark a cross (X) in the box on the right hand side of the answer of your choice. Vote ONCE only. Put no other mark on the ballot paper, or your vote may not be counted.”.

(9) The device referred to in paragraph (5)(b) must—

(a)allow a ballot paper to be inserted into and removed from, or attached to and detached from, the device easily and without damage to the paper;

(b)hold the ballot paper firmly in place during use; and

(c)provide suitable means for the voter or proxy to—

(i)identify the spaces on the ballot paper on which that person may mark his or her vote;

(ii)identify the answer to which each such space refers; and

(iii)mark his or her vote on the space he or she has chosen.

Appointment of polling observers and counting observers

18.  (1)  The counting officer may appoint persons to attend at polling stations for the purpose of detecting personation (“polling observers”).

(2) The counting officer must appoint persons to observe the counting of the votes and the verification of the ballot paper account (“counting observers”).

(3) In the following provisions of these Rules references to polling observers and counting observers shall be taken as references to polling observers and counting observers whose appointments have been duly made.

(4) Where by these Rules any act or thing is required or authorised to be done in the presence of the polling observers or counting observers, the non-attendance of any such person at the time and place appointed for the purpose shall not, if the act or thing is otherwise duly done, invalidate the act or thing done.

Notification of requirement of secrecy

19.  The counting officer must make such arrangements as he or she thinks fit to ensure that—

(a)every person attending at a polling station (otherwise than for the purpose of voting or assisting a voter or proxy with disabilities to vote or as a constable on duty there) has been given a copy in writing of the provisions of subsections (1), (3) and (6) of section 66 of the 1983 Act(33), as applied by Schedule 4; and

(b)every person attending at the counting of the votes (other than any constable on duty at the counting) has been given a copy in writing of the provisions of subsections (2) and (6) of that section, as applied by Schedule 4.

Return of postal ballot papers

20.  (1)  Where—

(a)a postal vote has been returned in respect of a person who is entered on the postal voters list; or

(b)a proxy postal vote has been returned in respect of a proxy who is entered on the proxy postal voters list,

the counting officer must mark the list in the manner prescribed by regulations made under the 1983 Act(34).

(2) Rule 36(3) does not apply for the purpose of determining whether, for the purposes of this rule, a postal vote or a proxy postal vote is returned.

PART 5The Poll

Admission to polling station

21.  (1)  The presiding officer must exclude all persons from the polling station except—

(a)voters and proxies;

(b)persons under the age of 18 who accompany voters and proxies to the polling station;

(c)the polling observers appointed to attend at the polling station;

(d)the clerks appointed to attend at the polling station;

(e)persons who are entitled to attend by virtue of any of sections 6A to 6D of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000;

(f)the constables on duty; and

(g)the companions of voters and proxies with disabilities.

(2) The presiding officer must regulate the total number of voters, proxies and persons under the age of 18 who accompany them to be admitted to the polling station at the same time.

(3) A constable or person employed by a counting officer must not be admitted to vote in person elsewhere than at his or her own polling station allotted to him or her under these Rules, except on production and surrender of a certificate as to his or her employment which must be in the form in the Appendix, or a form to the like effect, and signed by an officer of police of or above the rank of inspector or by the counting officer, as the case may be.

(4) Any certificate surrendered under this rule must forthwith be cancelled.

Keeping of order in station

22.  (1)  It is the presiding officer’s duty to keep order at his or her polling station.

(2) If a person misconducts himself or herself in a polling station, or fails to obey the presiding officer’s lawful orders, that person may immediately, by the presiding officer’s order, be removed from the polling station—

(a)by a constable in or near that station, or

(b)by any other person authorised in writing by the counting officer to remove him or her,

and the person so removed shall not, without the presiding officer’s permission, again enter the polling station during the day.

(3) Any person so removed may, if charged with the commission in the polling station of an offence, be dealt with as a person taken into custody by a constable for an offence without a warrant.

(4) The powers conferred by this rule must not be exercised so as to prevent a voter or proxy who is otherwise entitled to vote at a polling station from having an opportunity of voting at that station.

Sealing of ballot boxes

23.  Immediately before the commencement of the poll, the presiding officer must show the ballot box empty to such persons, if any, as are present in the polling station, so that they may see that it is empty, and must then lock it up, if it has a lock and (in any case) place his or her seal on it in such a manner as to prevent its being opened without breaking the seal and must place it in his or her view for the receipt of ballot papers, and keep it so locked and sealed or sealed (as the case may be).

Questions to be put to voters and proxies

24.  (1)  At the time of the application for a ballot paper (but not afterwards), the questions specified in the second column of the following Table—

(a)may be put by the presiding officer to a person applying for a ballot paper who is mentioned in the first column, and

(b)must be put if the letter “R” appears after the question and a polling observer requires the question to be put:

Q NoPerson applying for ballot paperQuestion
1A person applying as a voter

(a)—Are you the person registered in the register of local government electors for this voting area as follows?

(read the whole entry from the register) [R]

(b)—Have you already voted here or elsewhere at this referendum, otherwise than as proxy for some other person? [R]
2A person applying as proxy(a)—Are you the person whose name appears as AB in the list of proxies for this voting area as entitled to vote as proxy on behalf of CD? [R]
(b)—Have you already voted here or elsewhere at this referendum as proxy on behalf of CD? [R]
(c)—Are you the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of CD? [R]
3A person applying as proxy for a voter who has an anonymous entry (instead of the questions at entry 2)(a)—Are you the person entitled to vote as proxy on behalf of the voter whose number on the register of electors is (read out the number)? [R]
(b)—Have you already voted here or elsewhere as proxy on behalf of the voter whose number on the register of electors is (read out the number)? [R]
(c)—Are you the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the person whose number on the register of electors is (read out the number)? [R]
4A person applying as proxy if the question at entry 2(c) or 3(c) is not answered in the affirmativeHave you already voted at this referendum on behalf of two persons of whom you are not the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild? [R]
5A person applying as a voter in relation to whom there is an entry in the postal voters list(a)—Did you apply to vote by post?
(b)—Why have you not voted by post?
6A person applying as proxy who is named in the proxy postal voters list(a)—Did you apply to vote by post as proxy?

(b)—Why have you not voted by post as proxy?

(2) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, the references in the questions at entries 1(a) and 3(a), (b) and (c) to reading from the register shall be taken as references to reading from the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act.

(3) A ballot paper must not be delivered to any person required to answer any of the above questions unless that person has answered each question satisfactorily.

(4) Except as authorised by this rule, no inquiry shall be permitted as to the right of any person to vote.

Challenge of voter or proxy

25.  A person must not be prevented from voting by reason only that—

(a)any polling observer permitted to be present in accordance with rule 21(1) declares that he or she has reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed an offence of personation; or

(b)the person is arrested on the grounds that he or she is suspected of committing or of being about to commit such an offence.

Voting procedure

26.  (1)  A ballot paper must be delivered to a voter or proxy who applies for one, and immediately before delivery—

(a)the number and (unless paragraph (2) applies) name of the voter as stated in the copy of the register of electors must be called out;

(b)the number of the voter as stated in the register must be marked on the list mentioned in rule 17(3)(d) beside the number of the ballot paper to be issued to him or her;

(c)a mark must be placed in the copy of the register of electors against the number of the voter to note that a ballot paper has been received but without showing the particular ballot paper which has been received; and

(d)in the case of a person applying for a ballot paper as proxy, a mark must also be placed against his or her name in the list of proxies.

(2) In the case of a voter who has an anonymous entry, that person must show the presiding officer his or her official poll card and only his or her number shall be called out in pursuance of paragraph (1)(a).

(3) In the case of a voter who is added to the register in pursuance of a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, paragraph (1) is modified as follows—

(a)in sub-paragraph (a), for “copy of the register of electors” substitute “copy of the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (b), for “in the register” substitute “on the copy of the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”;

(c)in sub-paragraph (c), for “in the copy of the register of electors” substitute “on the copy of the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

(4) The voter or proxy, on receiving the ballot paper, must forthwith proceed into one of the compartments in the polling station and there secretly mark his or her paper and fold it up so as to conceal his or her vote, and must then show to the presiding officer the back of the paper, so as to disclose the number and other unique identifying mark, and put the ballot paper so folded up into the ballot box in the presiding officer’s presence.

(5) The voter or proxy must vote without undue delay, and must leave the polling station as soon as he or she has put his or her ballot paper into the ballot box.

Votes marked by presiding officer

27.  (1)  The presiding officer, on the application of a voter or proxy—

(a)who is incapacitated by blindness or other disability from voting in the manner directed by these Rules; or

(b)who declares orally that he or she is unable to read,

must, in the presence of the polling observers (if any), cause that person’s vote to be marked on a ballot paper in the manner directed by that person, and the ballot paper to be placed in the ballot box.

(2) The name and number on the register of electors of every person whose vote is marked in pursuance of this rule, and the reason why it is so marked, must be entered on a list (in these Rules called “the list of votes marked by the presiding officer”).

In the case of a person voting as proxy for a voter, the number to be entered together with the proxy’s name shall be the number in the register of the voter.

(3) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, paragraph (2) applies as if for “on the register of electors of every person” there were substituted “relating to every person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

Voting by persons with disabilities

28.  (1)  If a voter or proxy makes an application to the presiding officer to be allowed, on the ground of—

(a)blindness or other disability; or

(b)inability to read,

to vote with the assistance of another person by whom he or she is accompanied (in these Rules referred to as “the companion”), the presiding officer must require the voter or proxy to declare, orally or in writing, whether he or she is so incapacitated by his or her blindness or other disability, or by his or her inability to read, as to be unable to vote without assistance.

(2) If the presiding officer—

(a)is satisfied that the voter or proxy is so incapacitated; and

(b)is also satisfied by a written declaration made by the companion (in these Rules referred to as “the declaration made by the companion of a voter or proxy with disabilities”) that the companion—

(i)is a qualified person within the meaning of this rule; and

(ii)has not previously assisted more than one voter or proxy with disabilities to vote at the referendum,

the presiding officer must grant the application, and then anything which is by these Rules required to be done to or by that voter or proxy in connection with the giving of his or her vote may be done to, or with the assistance of, the companion.

(3) For the purposes of these Rules, a person is a voter or proxy with disabilities if he or she has made such a declaration as is mentioned in paragraph (1), and a person shall be qualified to assist a voter or proxy with disabilities to vote if that person—

(a)is a person who is entitled to vote on his or her own behalf at the referendum; or

(b)is the father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, civil partner, son or daughter of the voter or proxy and has attained the age of 18 years.

(4) The name and number in the register of electors of every person whose vote is given in accordance with this rule and the name and address of the companion must be entered on a list (in these Rules referred to as “the list of voters or proxies with disabilities assisted by companions”).

In the case of a person voting as proxy for a voter, the number to be entered together with the proxy’s name shall be the number in the register of the voter.

(5) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, paragraph (4) applies as if for “in the register of electors of every person” there were substituted “relating to every person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

(6) The declaration made by the companion of a voter or proxy with disabilities—

(a)must be in the form in the Appendix,

(b)must be made before the presiding officer at the time when the voter or proxy applies to vote with the assistance of a companion, and

(c)must forthwith be given to the presiding officer who must attest and retain it.

(7) No fee or other payment shall be charged in respect of the declaration.

Tendered ballot papers: circumstances where available

29.  (1)  If a person, representing himself or herself to be—

(a)a particular voter named on the register and not named in the absent voters list; or

(b)a particular person named in the list of proxies as proxy for a voter and not entitled to vote by post as proxy,

applies for a ballot paper after another person has voted in person either as the voter or his or her proxy, the applicant shall, on satisfactorily answering the questions permitted by law to be asked at the poll, be entitled, subject to the provisions of rule 30, to mark a ballot paper (in these Rules referred to as “a tendered ballot paper”) in the same manner as any other voter or proxy.

(2) Paragraph (4) applies if—

(a)a person applies for a ballot paper representing himself or herself to be a particular voter named on the register,

(b)he or she is also named in the postal voters list; and

(c)he or she claims that he or she did not make an application to vote by post at the referendum.

(3) Paragraph (4) also applies if—

(a)a person applies for a ballot paper representing himself or herself to be a particular person named as a proxy in the list of proxies;

(b)he or she is also named in the proxy postal voters list; and

(c)he or she claims that he or she did not make an application to vote by post as proxy.

(4) The person shall, on satisfactorily answering the questions permitted by law to be asked at the poll, be entitled, subject to the provisions of rule 30, to mark a ballot paper (in these Rules referred to as a “tendered ballot paper”) in the same manner as any other voter or proxy.

(5) Paragraph (6) applies if, before the close of the poll but after the last time at which a person may apply for a replacement postal ballot paper, a person represents himself or herself to be—

(a)a particular voter named on the register who is also named in the postal voters list; or

(b)a particular person named as a proxy in the list of proxies and who is also named in the proxy postal voters list,

and claims that he or she has lost or has not received his or her postal ballot paper.

(6) The person shall, on satisfactorily answering the questions permitted by law to be asked at the poll, be entitled, subject to the provisions of rule 30, to mark a ballot paper (in these Rules referred to as a “tendered ballot paper”) in the same manner as any other voter or proxy.

Tendered ballot papers: general provisions

30.  (1)  A tendered ballot paper must—

(a)be of a colour differing from that of the other ballot papers;

(b)instead of being put into the ballot box, be given to the presiding officer and endorsed by him or her with the name of the person who has marked a tendered ballot paper and that person’s number in the register of electors, and set aside in a separate packet.

(2) The name of the person who has marked a tendered ballot paper and his or her number in the register of electors must be entered on a list (in these Rules referred to as the “tendered votes list”).

(3) In the case of a person voting as proxy for a voter, the number to be endorsed or entered together with the proxy’s name shall be the number in the register of the voter.

(4) In the case of a voter who has an anonymous entry, this rule and rule 29 apply subject to the following modifications—

(a)in paragraphs (1)(b) and (2) above, the references to the name of the person who has marked a tendered ballot paper shall be ignored;

(b)otherwise, a reference to a person named on a register or list shall be construed as a reference to a person whose number appears in the register or list (as the case may be).

(5) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, this rule and rule 29 shall apply as if—

(a)in rule 29(1)(a), (2)(a) and (5)(a), for “named on the register” there were substituted “in respect of whom a notice under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act has been issued”;

(b)in paragraph (1)(b) of this rule for “that person’s number in the register of electors” there were substituted “the number relating to him or her on a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”;

(c)in paragraph (2) of this rule, for “his or her number in the register of electors” there were substituted “the number relating to him or her on a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

Spoilt ballot papers

31.  A voter or proxy who has inadvertently dealt with his or her ballot paper in such manner that it cannot be conveniently used as a ballot paper may, on delivering it to the presiding officer and proving to his or her satisfaction the fact of the inadvertence, obtain another ballot paper in the place of the ballot paper so delivered (in these Rules referred to as “a spoilt ballot paper”), and the spoilt ballot paper must be immediately cancelled.

Correction of errors on day of poll

32.  The presiding officer must keep a list of persons to whom ballot papers are delivered in consequence of an alteration to the register made by virtue of section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act which takes effect on the day of the poll.

Adjournment of poll in case of riot

33.  (1)  Where the proceedings at any polling station are interrupted or obstructed by riot or open violence, the presiding officer must adjourn the proceedings till the following day and must forthwith give notice to the counting officer.

(2) Where the poll is adjourned at any polling station—

(a)the hours of polling on the day to which it is adjourned must be the same as for the original day; and

(b)references in these Rules to the close of the poll shall be construed accordingly.

Procedure on close of poll

34.  (1)  As soon as practicable after the close of the poll, the presiding officer must, in the presence of the polling observers (if any), make up into separate packets, sealed with his or her own seal and the seals of such polling observers as desire to affix their seals—

(a)each ballot box in use at the station, sealed so as to prevent the introduction of additional ballot papers and unopened, but with the key, if any, attached;

(b)the unused and spoilt ballot papers placed together;

(c)the tendered ballot papers;

(d)the marked copies of the register of electors (including any marked copy notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act) and of the list of proxies;

(e)the lists prepared under rule 8 including the parts which were completed in accordance with rule 26(1)(b) (together referred to in these Rules as “the completed corresponding number lists”);

(f)the certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll;

(g)the tendered votes list, the list of voters and proxies with disabilities assisted by companions, the list of votes marked by the presiding officer, a statement of the number of voters and proxies whose votes are so marked by the presiding officer under the heads “disability” and “unable to read”, the list maintained under rule 32 (correction of errors on day of poll), and the declarations made by the companions of voters and proxies with disabilities,

and must deliver the packets or cause them to be delivered to the counting officer to be taken charge of by that person; but if the packets are not delivered by the presiding officer personally to the counting officer, the arrangements for their delivery shall require the counting officer’s approval.

(2) The marked copies of the register of electors and of the list of proxies must be in one packet but must not be in the same packet as the completed corresponding number lists or the certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll.

(3) The packets must be accompanied by a statement (in these Rules referred to as “the ballot paper account”) made by the presiding officer showing the number of ballot papers entrusted to him or her, and accounting for them under the heads of ballot papers issued and not otherwise accounted for, unused, spoilt and tendered ballot papers.

PART 6Counting of votes

Attendance at counting of votes

35.  (1)  The counting officer must make arrangements for counting the votes in the presence of the counting observers as soon as practicable after the close of the poll, and must give to the counting observers notice in writing of the time and place at which he or she will begin to count the votes.

(2) No person other than—

(a)the counting officer and his or her clerks;

(b)the counting observers;

(c)persons who are entitled to attend by virtue of any of sections 6A to 6D of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000; and

(d)the Chief Counting Officer

may be present at the counting of the votes, unless permitted by the counting officer to attend.

(3) A person not entitled to attend at the counting of the votes shall not be permitted to do so by the counting officer unless he or she is satisfied that the efficient counting of the votes will not be impeded.

(4) The counting officer must give the counting observers all such reasonable facilities for overseeing the proceedings, and all such information with respect to them, as he or she can give them consistently with the orderly conduct of the proceedings and the discharge of his or her duties in connection with them.

(5) In particular, where the votes are counted by sorting the ballot papers according to the answer for which the vote is given and then counting the number of ballot papers for each answer, the counting observers shall be entitled to satisfy themselves that the ballot papers are correctly sorted.

The count

36.  (1)  The counting officer must—

(a)in the presence of the counting observers open each ballot box and count and record the number of ballot papers in it;

(b)in the presence of the counting observers verify each ballot paper account; and

(c)count such of the postal ballot papers as have been duly returned and record the number counted.

(2) The counting officer must not count the votes given on any ballot papers until—

(a)in the case of postal ballot papers, they have been mixed with the ballot papers from at least one ballot box; and

(b)in the case of ballot papers from a ballot box, they have been mixed with the ballot papers from at least one other ballot box.

(3) A postal ballot paper must not be taken to be duly returned unless—

(a)it is returned in the manner set out in paragraph (4) and reaches the counting officer or any polling station in the voting area in question before the close of the poll;

(b)the postal voting statement, duly signed, is also returned in the manner set out in paragraph (4) and reaches the counting officer or such a polling station before that time;

(c)the postal voting statement also states the date of birth of a voter or proxy; and

(d)in a case where steps for verifying the date of birth and signature of a voter or proxy have been prescribed by regulations made under the 1983 Act, the counting officer (having taken such steps) verifies that date of birth and that signature.

(4) The manner in which any postal ballot paper or postal voting statement may be returned—

(a)to the counting officer, is by hand or by post;

(b)to a polling station, is by hand.

(5) The counting officer must not count any tendered ballot paper.

(6) The counting officer, while counting and recording the number of ballot papers and counting the votes, must keep the ballot papers with their faces upwards and take all proper precautions for preventing any person from seeing the numbers or other unique identifying marks printed on the back of the papers.

(7) The counting officer must verify each ballot paper account by comparing it with the number of ballot papers recorded by him or her, and the unused and spoilt ballot papers in his or her possession and the tendered votes list (opening and resealing the packets containing the unused and spoilt ballot papers and the tendered votes list) and must draw up a statement as to the result of the verification, which any counting observer may copy.

(8) Where rules 40 and 41 apply, as soon as is practicable after the counting officer has drawn up the statement as to the result of the verification, he or she must inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents.

(9) The counting officer must so far as practicable proceed continuously with counting the votes, allowing only time for refreshment, except that he or she may exclude the hours between 7 in the evening and 9 on the following morning.

(10) During the time so excluded the counting officer must—

(a)place the ballot papers and other documents relating to the referendum under his or her own seal; and

(b)otherwise take proper precautions for the security of the papers and documents.

Rejected ballot papers

37.  (1)  Any ballot paper—

(a)which does not bear the official mark; or

(b)on which votes are given for more than one answer; or

(c)on which anything is written or marked by which the voter or proxy can be identified except the printed number and other unique identifying mark on the back; or

(d)which is unmarked or void for uncertainty,

shall, subject to paragraph (2), be void and not counted.

(2) A ballot paper on which the vote is marked—

(a)elsewhere than in the proper place; or

(b)otherwise than by means of a cross; or

(c)by more than one mark,

shall not for such reason be deemed to be void if an intention that the vote shall be for one or the other of the answers clearly appears, and the way the paper is marked does not itself identify the voter or proxy and it is not shown that he or she can be identified by it.

(3) The counting officer must endorse the word “rejected” on any ballot paper which under this rule is not to be counted, and must add to the endorsement the words “rejection objected to” if any objection is made by a counting observer to the counting officer’s decision.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), the counting officer must draw up a statement showing the number of ballot papers rejected under the several heads of—

(a)want of official mark;

(b)voting for more than one answer;

(c)writing or mark by which the voter or proxy could be identified;

(d)unmarked or void for uncertainty.

(5) Where rules 40 and 41 apply, the statement referred to in paragraph (4) above is to be a provisional statement and as soon as practicable after the completion of that statement, the counting officer shall inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents.

Decisions on ballot papers

38.  The decision of the counting officer on any question arising in respect of a ballot paper shall be final, but shall be subject to review on a referendum petition.

PART 7Declaration of result and disposal of documents

Declaration of result

39.  Subject to rule 40 and rule 41, when the result of the poll has been ascertained, the counting officer must forthwith—

(a)declare the result of the referendum;

(b)inform the authority in respect of which the referendum was held of the result of the referendum;

(c)give public notice of—

(i)the result of the referendum,

(ii)the number of ballot papers counted,

(iii)the total number of votes cast for each answer, and

(iv)the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the statement of rejected ballot papers.

Chief Counting Officer’s re-count

40.  (1)  This rule and rule 41 apply where two or more referendums are held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year.

(2) As soon as practicable after the conclusion of the count (which includes any re-count whether or not directed under this rule), the counting officer must draw up a provisional statement showing—

(a)the number of ballot papers counted by him or her; and

(b)the number of votes cast in favour of each answer to the question asked in the referendum.

(3) As soon as possible after completion of the provisional statement, the counting officer must inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents.

(4) Once the Chief Counting Officer has received the report of any counting officer on the contents of his or her provisional statement prepared under paragraph (2) and under rule 37(5), the Chief Counting Officer may direct the counting officer to re-count (or further re-count) the votes.

(5) A re-count directed by the Chief Counting Officer under paragraph (4) may be of the votes in all the voting areas, or in such of the voting areas as he or she considers reasonable.

(6) A counting officer must proceed with a re-count as soon as practicable after receipt of the Chief Counting Officer’s direction, and if not proceeding forthwith shall notify those counting observers entitled to be present at the re-count of the time and place at which he or she will begin to re-count the votes.

Counting officer’s statement and declaration of result

41.  (1)  When the Chief Counting Officer has determined not to direct that any re-count (or further re-count) must take place, he or she must direct the counting officers to draw up a final statement of the matters referred to in rule 40(2) and to provide final versions of their statements of rejected ballot papers.

(2) The counting officer, having drawn up the final statement, must—

(a)forthwith inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents; and

(b)as soon as reasonably practicable give the Chief Counting Officer notice of the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the final statement of rejected ballot papers.

(3) When authorised by the Chief Counting Officer to do so, the counting officer must—

(a)make a declaration of the matters referred to in the final statement; and

(b)give public notice of those matters together with the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the final statement of rejected ballot papers.

(4) The Chief Counting Officer, having received notification of each of the counting officers’ final statement referred to in paragraph (1) must—

(a)draw up a statement of—

(i)the total number of ballot papers counted, and

(ii)the total number of votes cast in favour of each answer to the question asked,

in respect of all the referendums which relate to the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year;

(b)forthwith make a declaration of the matters referred to in subparagraph (a); and

(c)as soon as reasonably practicable give public notice of those matters together with the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the statements of rejected ballot papers.

Sealing up of ballot papers

42.  (1)  On the completion of the counting at a referendum the counting officer must seal up in separate packets the counted and rejected ballot papers.

(2) The counting officer must not open the sealed packets of—

(a)tendered ballot papers;

(b)the completed corresponding number lists;

(c)certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll; or

(d)marked copies of the register of electors (including any marked copy notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act) and lists of proxies.

Delivery of documents to relevant registration officer

43.  (1)  The counting officer must then forward to the relevant registration officer the following documents—

(a)the packets of ballot papers in the counting officer’s possession;

(b)the ballot paper accounts and the statements of rejected ballot papers and of the result of the verification of the ballot paper accounts;

(c)the tendered votes lists, the lists of voters and proxies with disabilities assisted by companions, the lists of votes marked by the presiding officer and the related statements, the lists maintained under rule 32, and the declarations made by the companions of voters and proxies with disabilities;

(d)the packets of the completed corresponding number lists;

(e)the packets of certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll; and

(f)the packets containing marked copies of registers (including any marked copy notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act) and of the postal voters list, of the lists of proxies and of the proxy postal voters list,

endorsing on each packet a description of its contents, the date of the referendum to which it relates and the name of the authority in respect of which the referendum was held.

(2) In this rule and in rules 44 and 45 references to the relevant registration officer are to the registration officer of the relevant billing authority.

Orders for production of documents

44.  (1)  An order—

(a)for the inspection or production of any rejected ballot papers in the custody of the relevant registration officer; or

(b)for the opening of a sealed packet of the completed corresponding number lists or certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll or for the inspection of any counted ballot papers in the relevant registration officer’s custody,

may be made by a county court, if the court is satisfied by evidence on oath that the order is required for the purpose of instituting or maintaining a prosecution for an offence in relation to ballot papers, or for the purpose of a referendum petition.

(2) An order for the opening of a sealed packet of the completed corresponding number lists or of certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll or for the inspection of any counted ballot papers in the custody of the relevant registration officer may be made by an election court.

(3) An order under this rule may be made subject to such conditions as to—

(a)persons;

(b)time;

(c)place and mode of inspection;

(d)production or opening;

as the court making the order may think expedient.

(4) In making and carrying into effect an order for the opening of a packet of the completed corresponding number lists or of certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll or for the inspection of counted ballot papers, care must be taken that the way in which the vote of any particular person has been given shall not be disclosed until it has been proved—

(a)that that person’s vote was given; and

(b)that the vote has been declared by a competent court to be invalid.

(5) An appeal lies to the High Court from any order of a county court under this rule.

(6) Any power given under this rule to a county court may be exercised by any judge of the court otherwise than in open court.

(7) Where an order is made for the production by the relevant registration officer of any document in his or her possession relating to any specified referendum—

(a)the production by the relevant registration officer or his or her agent of the document ordered in such manner as may be directed by that order shall be conclusive evidence that the document relates to the specified referendum; and

(b)any endorsement on any packet of ballot papers so produced shall be prima facie evidence that the ballot papers are what they are stated to be by the endorsement.

(8) The production from proper custody of—

(a)a ballot paper purporting to have been used at any referendum; and

(b)a completed corresponding number list with a number marked in writing beside the number of the ballot paper,

shall be prima facie evidence that the person whose vote was given by that ballot paper was the person whose entry in the register of electors or on a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act at the time of the referendum contained the same number as the number written as mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) of this paragraph.

(9) Save as by this rule provided, no person shall be allowed to inspect any rejected or counted ballot papers in the possession of the relevant registration officer or open any sealed packets of the completed corresponding number lists or of certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll.

Retention of documents

45.  The relevant registration officer must retain for one year all documents relating to a referendum forwarded to him or her in pursuance of these Rules by a counting officer, and then, unless otherwise directed by an order of a county court, the Crown Court, a magistrates’ court or an election court, must cause them to be destroyed.

PART 8Appendix of forms

Note:—The forms contained in this Appendix may be adapted so far as circumstances require.

  • Form of Ballot Paper: Question in referendum as specified in Schedule 1

  • Corresponding Number List L1

  • Corresponding Number List L2

  • Form of Postal Voting Statement

  • Official Poll Card (to be sent to a voter voting in person)

  • Official Postal Poll Card (to be sent to a voter voting by post)

  • Official Proxy Poll Card (to be sent to an appointed proxy voting in person)

  • Official Proxy Postal Poll Card (to be sent to an appointed proxy voting by post)

  • Form of directions for the guidance of the voters and proxies in voting

  • Form of Certificate of Employment

  • Form of declaration to be made by the companion of a voter or proxy with disabilities

Regulation 14, 18 and 19

SCHEDULE 4Application, with modifications, of Acts and subordinate legislation

Interpretation

1.  (1)  The provisions set out in the first column of Tables 1 to 13 have effect subject to any modification mentioned in the second column of those Tables.

(2) Unless the context otherwise requires the provisions set out in Tables 1 to 6 have effect subject to the modifications mentioned in sub-paragraph (3).

(3) The modifications mentioned in this paragraph are—

(a)a reference to an election must be construed as a reference to the referendum;

(b)a reference to a returning officer must be construed as a reference to the counting officer;

(c)a reference to a constituency, an electoral division or a ward must be construed as a reference to a voting area;

(d)a reference to voting for, or a vote for, a candidate must be construed as a reference to voting for, or a vote for, an answer;

(e)a reference to promoting or procuring the election of a candidate, or furthering a person’s candidature, must be construed as a reference to promoting or procuring a particular result in the referendum;

(f)references to nomination papers and, except as mentioned in sub-paragraphs (d) and (e), references to candidates, must be ignored;

(g)a reference to the return of a person must be construed as a reference to a particular result in the referendum;

(h)a reference to a person voting as an elector must be construed as a person voting on his or her own behalf;

(i)a reference to a person’s entitlement as an elector to an absent vote must be construed as a reference to a person’s entitlement to vote by post on his or her own behalf or to vote by proxy;

(j)except where the polls at the referendum and an election are taken together in accordance with regulation 17(2), where anything is required to be done in the presence of election, polling, counting or other agents, the reference to the presence of agents must be ignored;

(k)a reference to anything having been prescribed must be construed as a reference to its being provided for by a provision of subordinate legislation applied by these Regulations;

(l)a form which is required to be used may be used with such variations as the circumstances require;

(m)a reference to the registration officer, in relation to a district, London borough, the City or the Isles of Scilly, is a reference to the relevant registration officer appointed under section 8(35) or 203(4)(36) of the 1983 Act(37); and for the purpose of the exercise of a registration officer’s functions in relation to the referendum, section 52(1) to (4)(38) (discharge of registration duties) and section 54(1), (3) and (4)(39) (payment of expenses of registration) of that Act have effect;

(n)a reference to an election petition must be construed as a reference to a referendum petition;

(o)any reference to an enactment or instrument made under an enactment must be construed as a reference to that enactment or instrument as applied by these Regulations;

(p)so much of any provision as applies only in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland is to be ignored.

Table 1

Representation of the People Act 1983(40)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Section 13B (alteration of registers: pending elections)(41)

After “election”, in each place, substitute “or referendum”.

After subsection (4) insert—

(4A) This section also applies to referendums.

Section 31 (polling districts and stations at local government elections)(42)

For subsection (1) substitute “(1) For referendums held by a county, the county council may divide an electoral division into polling districts and may alter any polling district, and for referendums held by a London borough, district or the Common Council, the London borough, district council or Common Council may divide the London borough, district or the City or any ward thereof into polling districts and may alter any polling district.”

In subsection (3) for “local government elections” substitute “referendums”.

Section 35(4) (appointments by returning officers)
Section 36(4) and (6) (returning officer’s expenditure at local elections)(43)

In subsection (4) for the words from “by a returning officer” to “London borough)” substitute “by a counting officer for a voting area in relation to the holding of a referendum”.

In subsection (6)—

(a)

for the words from the beginning to “councillor, the council” substitute “Before a poll is taken at such a referendum as is referred to in subsection (4), the authority”, and

(b)

after “returning officer” insert “or counting officer”.

Paragraph 1(2)(b) of this Schedule does not have effect in relation to the first reference in subsection (6) to the returning officer.

Section 47 (loan of equipment for local elections)(44)

In subsection (1) for “the returning officer at a local government election” substitute “the counting officer at a referendum”.

In subsection (2)—

(a)

for subsection (b) substitute “(b) the Common Council”

(b)

for “an election held under those Acts” substitute “a referendum”.

Section 49(4) to (5) (effect of registers)(45)In subsection (5) omit “prevent the rejection of the vote on a scrutiny or”.
Section 60 (personation)In subsection (2) omit “parliamentary or”.
Section 61 (other voting offences)(46)

In subsection (1) after “local government election” and “local government elections”, in each place, insert “or referendum” or “or referendums” respectively.

For subsections (2) to (4) substitute—

(2) A person shall be guilty of an offence if—

(a)that person votes on his or her own behalf otherwise than by proxy—

(i)more than once in the same voting area,

(ii)in more than one voting area, or

(iii)in any voting area where there is in force an appointment of a person to vote as his or her proxy in the referendum in another voting area, or

(b)that person votes on his or her own behalf in person and is entitled to vote by post, or

(c)that person votes on his or her own behalf in person knowing that a person appointed to vote as his or her proxy has already voted in person or is entitled to vote by post, or

(d)that person applies for a person to be appointed as his or her proxy to vote for him or her without applying for the cancellation of a previous appointment of a third party then in force or without withdrawing a pending application for such an appointment.

(3) A person shall be guilty of an offence if—

(a)that person votes as proxy for the same person either—

(i)more than once in the same voting area, or

(ii)in more than one voting area, or

(b)that person votes in person as proxy for a person and is entitled to vote by post as proxy for someone whom he or she already knows to have voted in person.

(4) A person shall also be guilty of an offence if he or she votes as proxy in any voting area for more than two persons of whom he or she is not the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild.

For subsection (6A) substitute—

(6A) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (2)(b) only by reason of his or her having marked a tendered ballot paper in pursuance of rule 29 of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or rule 31 of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012.

Section 62A (offences relating to applications for postal and proxy votes)(47)In subsection (1)(a) after “election” insert “or referendum”.
Section 63 (breach of official duty)(48)

In subsection (3) after “local government election” in both places insert “or referendum”.

In subsection (4)(a) after “election” insert “or referendum”.

Section 65 (tampering with ballot papers, etc)(49)

In subsection (1)—

(a)

after “election”, in the first place it occurs, insert “or referendum”, and

(b)

omit paragraph (a).

In subsection (3) for “clerk” substitute “person”.

Section 66 (requirement of secrecy)(50)

For subsection (1)(b) substitute—

(b)every polling observer, so attending,.

Section 66A (prohibition of exit polls)(51)

In subsection (2) omit the “and” preceding paragraph (b) and after that paragraph insert—

; and

(c)any referendum.

Section 92 (broadcasting from outside the United Kingdom)(52)In subsection (1) after “local government election” insert “or referendum”.
Section 94 (imitation poll cards)(53)

In subsection (2)—

(a)

after “section 36” insert “above, or regulations made under section 52ZQ of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”, and

(b)

after “the rules”, insert “or, as the case may be, the regulations”.

Section 96 (schools and rooms for local election meetings)(54)

For subsection (1) substitute—

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any person is entitled, for the purpose of holding a public meeting to promote a particular result in the referendum, to use free of charge at reasonable times during the campaign period any meeting room to which this section applies.

(1A) In subsection (1), “the campaign period” means the period of 25 days ending with the day before the date of the referendum.

Omit subsection (2).

In subsection (3)—

(a)

for the words from “electoral area for which” to “that electoral area” substitute “voting area”, and

(b)

omit paragraph (b).

In subsection (4)—

(a)

omit the words “and paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 5 to this Act”,

(b)

after the words “that section” insert “subject to the substitution in subsection (5) of that section, for the word “candidate” of the word “person”“, and

(c)

omit the words from “and any person” to the end.

After subsection (4) insert—

(5) The lists maintained by a county council, district council, London borough council or the Common Council of meeting rooms which candidates at a parliamentary election in any constituency are entitled to use shall have effect for the purposes of the referendum; and any person shall, before the referendum, be entitled at all reasonable hours to inspect those lists or a copy of them.

Section 97 (disturbances at election meetings)(55)

For subsection (2) substitute—

(2) This section applies to a meeting in connection with a referendum held during the campaign period.

(2A) In subsection (2) “the campaign period” means the period of 25 days ending with the day before the date of the referendum.

Section 100(1) and (2) (illegal canvassing by police officers)(56)In subsection (1) for the words from “from giving his vote” to the end substitute “from giving his or her vote in the referendum in a voting area wholly or partly within the police area”.
Section 109 (payments for the exhibition of election notices)
Section 110 (details to appear on election publications)(57)
Section 111 (prohibition of paid canvassers)
Section 112 (providing money for illegal purposes)
Section 113 (bribery)(58)
Section 114 (treating)
Section 115 (undue influence)(59)
Section 116 (rights of creditors)Omit paragraphs (b) and (c).
Section 118 (interpretation of Part 2)(60)
Section 119 (computation of time for purposes of Part 2)(61)

In subsection (1)(b) after “disregarded” insert—

; and

(c)in computing any period referred to in section 96(1A) or 97(2A), as applied for the purposes of a referendum, any of the days so mentioned shall be disregarded.

Section 167 (application for relief)(62)
Section 168 (prosecutions for corrupt practices)(63)
Section 169 (prosecutions for illegal practices)(64)
Section 170 (conviction of illegal practice on charge of corrupt practice etc)
Section 173(1)(a)(i), (2) and (3)(65) (incapacities)In subsection (1)(a)(i) after “Great Britain” insert “or at any referendum”.
Section 174 (mitigation and remission etc)(66)
Section 175 (illegal payments etc)(67)Omit subsection (2).
Section 176 (time limit for prosecutions)
Section 177 (summary trial)

For “the local government Act” substitute “the Local Authority (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

In subsection (1)(a) for the words from “in the county” to “adjoins”, substitute “for the voting area in which the offence is alleged to have been committed”.

Section 178 (prosecution of offences committed outside the United Kingdom)(68)
Section 179 (offences by associations)
Section 181(1) (Director of Public Prosecutions)(69)
Section 185 (interpretation of Part 3)(70)
Section 199B (translations of certain documents)(71)

In subsections (1), (5) and (7) after “local government election” insert “or referendum”.

Omit subsection (4)(a).

Section 200(1A) and (2) (public notices, and declarations)(72)
Section 202 (interpretation)(73)

Table 2

Representation of the People Act 1985(74)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Section 15 (combination of polls at parliamentary, European and local elections)(75)

After subsection (2) insert—

(2A) Where the polls at one or more of the elections or referendums mentioned in regulation 17(3) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 are to be taken on the same date as a referendum, the polls may be taken together if the returning officer or counting officer for the election or other referendum and counting officer for the referendum think fit.

In subsection (4)—

(a)

after “elections”, in the first place where that word appears, insert “or elections and a referendum (as the case may be)”,

(b)

after “one election” insert “or the referendum”, and

(c)

after “elections”, in the second place where that word appears, insert “or the elections and the referendum (as the case may be)”.

Table 3

Representation of the People Act 2000(76)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Section 10 (pilot schemes for local elections in England and Wales)(77)

In subsection (2)—

(a)

after “Representation of the People Acts”, insert “or the Local Government Finance Act 1992”, and

(b)

in paragraph (c) for “candidates” substitute “any campaign organiser within the meaning of regulation 2(1) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

In subsection (3)—

(a)

in paragraph (b) for “candidates” substitute “campaign organisers”, and

(b)

for “section 75(1) of the 1983 Act (restriction on third party election expenditure)” substitute “regulation 12 of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

Omit subsection (4).

At the end of subsection (7)(a) insert “or the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

In subsection (11) for the words after “means”, substitute “a county council, district council, London borough council or the Common Council.”

Section 12 (changes relating to absent voting at elections in Great Britain)In subsection (1) at the end insert “; and as regards referendums”.
Schedule 4 (absent voting in Great Britain)(78)

In paragraph 1(1), in the definition of “the appropriate rules” at the end of paragraph (b), insert—

, and

(c)in the case of a referendum, the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases)(England) Regulations 2012.

In paragraphs 2 to 7, 7C and 7D, except in paragraphs 3(1), 3(2), 3(4)(a)(i), 6(7), 7(4)(a) and 7(6)(a)(i), after “local government election”, “local government elections”, “elections” and “election”, insert, as the context requires, “or a referendum”, “or referendums”, or “or the referendum”.

In paragraphs 3(1) and 3(2) for “or at both” substitute “or at referendums, or at any combination of such polls”.

In paragraphs 3(4)(a)(i) and 7(6)(a)(i) for “or both” substitute “or referendums, or at any combination of such polls”.

In paragraphs 6(7) and 7(4)(a) for “or at both” substitute “or at referendums, or at any combination of such polls”.

Table 4

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000(79)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Section 6A (attendance of representatives of Commission at elections etc)

After subsection (1)(b) insert—

;

(c)proceedings relating to a referendum under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 which are the responsibility of the counting officer.

Section 6B (observation of working practices by representatives of Commission)

After subsection (2) insert—

(2A) A representative of the Commission may also observe the working practices of a counting officer at a referendum under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012, and any person acting under his or her direction.

Section 6C (accredited observers: individuals)In subsection (1) after “applies” insert “or which is held under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.
Section 6D (accredited observers: organisations)In subsection (1) after “applies” insert “or which is held under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.
Section 6E (attendance and conduct of observers)

For subsection (4)(c) substitute—

(c)in the case of any other proceedings at a referendum to which Part 7 applies, the relevant counting officer (within the meaning of section 6A);

(ca)in the case of any other proceedings at a referendum under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012, the counting officer;

In subsection (4)(d) for “or (c)” substitute “, (c) or (ca)”.

Table 5

Electoral Administration Act 2006(80)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Section 42 (access to other election documents)
Section 43 (access to other election documents: contravention of regulations)In subsection (1)(a) after “section 42” insert “as applied by the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.
Section 44 (access to other election documents: supplementary)

In subsection (5) for the words “election documents” to “Northern Ireland)” substitute “referendum documents are such documents relating to a referendum”.

After subsection (7)(e) insert—

(f)in relation to a referendum, a voting area within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012.

Section 46 (returning officers: correction of procedural errors)

After subsection (3)(b) insert—

(c)a referendum.

Omit subsection (6).

Section 69 (encouraging electoral participation)

After subsection (8)(b) insert—

(c)a counting officer at a referendum.

Table 6

The Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001(81)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 3 (interpretation)(82)

At the end of paragraph (2)(b) insert—

, or

(c)in the case of a referendum, the corresponding rule in the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012.

Regulation 4(1)(b) (forms) and, to the extent of Form E in Schedule 3, (2)
Regulation 5 (communication of applications, notices, etc)
Regulation 6 (electronic signatures and related certificates)(83)
Regulation 7 (copies of documents)(84)
Regulation 8 (time)(85)
Regulation 11 (interference with notices)
Regulation 50 (interpretation of Part 4)(86)
Regulation 51 (general requirements for an absent vote)(87)

For paragraph (4)(b) substitute—

(b)whether it is made for all or any of parliamentary elections, local government elections or referendums.

In paragraph (5)—

(a)

after “election”, in each place, insert “or referendum”, and

(b)

omit “elections”.

Regulation 51A (additional provision concerning the requirement that an application for an absent vote must be signed by the applicant)(88)
Regulation 51AA (additional requirement for applications for ballot papers to be sent to different address from that stated in application)(89)
Regulation 51B (additional requirements for applications for ballot papers to be sent to different address from that shown in the record kept under paragraph 3(4) or 7(6) of Schedule 4)(90)
Regulation 52 (additional requirements for applications for the appointment of a proxy)
Regulation 55 (additional requirements for applications for a proxy vote in respect of a particular election)(91)
Regulation 56 (closing dates for applications)(92)In paragraphs (1) to (5) and (7)(b) after “election”, in each place, insert “or referendum”.
Regulation 57 (grant or refusal of applications)(93)In paragraph (5) after “election” insert “or referendum”.
Regulation 58 (notice of appeal)
Regulation 59 (cancellation of proxy appointment)
Regulation 61B(94)In paragraph (3)(a) for “any candidate or agent” substitute “those”.
Regulation 62 (marked register for polling stations)(95)
Regulation 64 (interpretation of Part 5)(96)Omit the definition of “agent”
Regulation 65 (combination of polls)

Substitute—

Where the polls at elections or referendums are taken together under—

(a)section 15(1), (2) or (2A) of the 1985 Act (combination of polls at parliamentary, European Parliamentary and local government elections),

(b)section 36(3) or (3AB) of the 1983 Act (combination of polls at local elections), or

(c)the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012, the proceedings at the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers may, if the returning and counting officers concerned agree , be taken together.

Regulation 66 (form of postal voting statement)Omit paragraph (a).
Regulation 67 (persons entitled to be present at proceedings on issue of postal ballot papers)(97)
Regulation 68 (persons entitled to be present at proceedings on the receipt of postal ballot papers)(98)

Where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are not taken together at more than one poll in accordance with regulation 65 of the Representation of the People Regulations as applied by these Regulations:

For paragraphs (a) to (d) substitute—

(a)the counting officer and his or her clerks,

(b)persons who by virtue of rule 35(2)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or rule 37(3)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 are entitled to attend at the counting of the votes.

Where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are taken together at more than one poll in accordance with regulation 65 of the Representation of the People Regulations as applied by these Regulations:

After paragraph (d) insert—

(e)the counting officer and his or her clerks,

(f)persons who by virtue of rule 35(2)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or rule 37(3)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 are entitled to attend at the counting of the votes,

(g)persons who by virtue of rule 35(2)(a) to (e) of the Local Government Act Referendums Rules or rule 37(3)(a) to (e) of the Local Government Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2012 are entitled to attend at the counting of the votes

Regulation 69 (agents of candidates who may attend proceedings on receipt of postal ballot papers)

In paragraph (8) for “candidates or their agents” substitute “persons entitled to be present by virtue of regulation 68”.

Where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are not taken together at more than one poll in accordance with regulation 65 of the Representation of the People Regulations as applied by these Regulations:

Omit paragraphs (1) to (7).

Where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are taken together at more than one poll in accordance with regulation 65 of the Representation of the People Regulations as applied by these Regulations

For paragraph (3) substitute—

(3) Where postal ballot papers for more than one election or referendum are issued together by virtue of regulation 65, the references to the returning officer in paragraphs (2), (4) and (5) must be construed as references to the returning or counting officer who issues the postal ballot papers.

Regulation 70 (notification of requirement of secrecy)
Regulation 71 (time when postal ballot papers are to be issued)
Regulation 72 (procedure on issue of postal ballot paper)(99)

In paragraph (5) after “one election” insert “or referendum, or for an election combined with a referendum”.

In paragraph (5)(a)—

(a)

after “elections” insert “and referendums”, and

(b)

after “election” insert “or referendum”.

In paragraph (6) for “the poll at one election is taken with the poll at another election” substitute “polls are taken together”.

Regulation 73 (refusal to issue postal ballot paper)(100)
Regulation 74 (envelopes)(101)
Regulation 75 (sealing up of completed corresponding number lists and security of special lists)(102)
Regulation 76 (delivery of postal ballot papers)
Regulation 77 (spoilt postal ballot papers)(103)In paragraph (2)(b) for “election” substitute “poll”.
Regulation 78 (lost postal ballot papers)(104)In paragraph (2A)(b) for “election” substitute “poll”.
Regulation 79(3) to (5) (alternative means of returning postal ballot paper or postal voting statement)(105)In paragraph (5) for “polling agents” substitute “polling observers (if any)”.
Regulation 80 (notice of opening of postal ballot paper envelopes)

Where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are not taken together at more than one poll in accordance with regulation 65 of the Representation of the People Regulations as applied by these Regulations;

In paragraph (1) for “each candidate” substitute “those persons who by virtue of rule 35(2)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or rule 37(3)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums)(Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 are entitled to attend at the counting of the votes”.

Omit paragraph (2)(b).

Where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are taken together at more than one poll in accordance with regulation 65 of the Representation of the People Regulations as applied by these Regulations:

For paragraph (1) substitute—

(1) The counting officer shall give to those persons who by virtue of rule 35(2)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules or rule 37(3)(a) to (d) of the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules (as the case may be) within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums)(Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 are entitled to attend at the counting of the votes and—

(a)where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are taken together with the poll at an election, each candidate, or

(b)where the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are taken together with the poll at a Local Government Act referendum, persons who by virtue of rule 35(2)(a) to (e) of the Local Government Act Referendums Rules or rule 37(3)(a) to (e) of the Local Government Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules within the meaning of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2012 are entitled to attend at the counting of the votes,

not less than 48 hours’ notice in writing of each occasion on which a postal voters’ ballot box and the envelopes contained in it is to be opened.

Regulation 81 (postal ballot boxes and receptacles)(106)In paragraphs (3) and (4) for “the agents” substitute “those”.
Regulation 82 (receipt of covering envelopes)
Regulation 83 (opening of postal voters’ ballot box)In paragraph (1) for “the agents” substitute “such of those who are entitled to attend as are present”.
Regulation 84 (opening of covering envelopes)(107)
Regulation 84A (confirming receipt of postal voting statements)(108)
Regulation 85 (procedure in relation to postal voting statements)(109)In paragraph (3) for “agents” substitute “counting observers or agents or both (as the case may be)”.
Regulation 85A (procedure in relation to postal voting statements: personal identifier verification)(110)In paragraph (4) for “agents” substitute “counting observers or agents or both (as the case may be)”.
Regulation 85B (postal voting statements: additional personal identifier verification)(111)In paragraphs (3)(a) and (c) and (4) for “agents” substitute “counting observers or agents or both (as the case may be)”.
Regulation 86 (opening of ballot paper envelopes)
Regulation 86A (retrieval of cancelled postal ballot papers)(112)In paragraph (2)(b) and (f) for “agents” substitute “counting observers or agents or both (as the case may be)”.
Regulation 87 (lists of rejected postal ballot papers)
Regulation 88 (checking of lists kept under regulation 87)
Regulation 89 (sealing of receptacles)(113)
Regulation 91 (forwarding of documents)(114)

After paragraph (2) insert—

(2A) In the case of a referendum, the documents to be forwarded under paragraph (1) are to be forwarded to the registration officer of the relevant billing authority.

Regulation 92 (interpretation and application of Part VI etc)(115)
Regulation 98 (supply of free copy of full register for electoral purposes and restrictions on use)(116)

After paragraph (8) insert—

(8A) Where a registration officer is not the counting officer for a referendum held wholly or partly within his or her registration area, the registration officer shall supply, free of charge, to the counting officer for that referendum, as many printed copies of the documents referred to in paragraph (4)(a) and (b) above as the counting officer may reasonably require for the purposes of such a referendum, together with one copy of each in data form.

In paragraph (9) after “election” insert “or referendum”.

Regulation 115 (offences in contravention of Part 3, Part 4 and Part 6 regulations)(117)
Regulation 116 (interpretation of Part 7)(118)
Regulation 118 (inspection of documents open to public inspection)(119)
Regulation 119 (conditions on the use, supply and disclosure of documents open to public inspection)(120)
In Schedule 3, Form E(121)

After “REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACTS” insert “*[[insert name of council] REFERENDUM]”.

After “European Parliamentary electoral area” insert “Referendum voting area .................................”.

After the words “*[European Parliamentary] election”, in both places where they occur, insert “*[referendum]”.

After the words “*[European Parliamentary electoral region]”, in both places where they occur, insert “*[voting area]”.

In the note after “election” in each place insert “or referendum”.

Table 7

The Representation of the People (Combination of Polls) (England and Wales) Regulations 2004(122)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 2 (interpretation)

In paragraph (1) after “the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2001” insert “or a referendum held in accordance with regulations made under section 52ZQ and 113 of the 1992 Act”;

In paragraph (2) after “the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2001” insert “or regulation 2(1) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be)”.

Regulation 4 (returning officers and polling stations)

In paragraph (8) after “the 2000 Act)” insert “or polls at an election and a referendum or the polls at two or more referendums are taken together under section 15(2)(A) of the 1985 Act or 17(2) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

Regulation 5 (functions at combined polls)(123)

In paragraph (1) after sub-paragraph (e) insert—

(f)at a referendum held in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, by the rules in those regulations which correspond to the rules specified in paragraph (2);

In paragraph (3)(b) after “the 2000 Act” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Regulation 6 (modification of provision about expenses in the 1983 Act)

In paragraphs (3) and (4) for “15(1) or (2)” in both places substitute “15(1), (2) or (2A)”

In paragraph (5)(b) after “the 2000 Act” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Regulation 8 (modification of parliamentary elections rules)

In paragraph (1) after sub-paragraph (b) insert

or

(c)the poll at a referendum in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the 1992 Act.

Schedule 2 (modifications to parliamentary elections rules)

In paragraph 2, in the definition of “referendum” after “the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2001” insert “or a referendum held in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

In paragraph 3(a) after “the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2001” insert “or regulation 2(1) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be)”;

In paragraph 22 after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Table 8

European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004(124)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 2 (interpretation)In paragraph (1), in the definition of “referendum” after “the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2007” insert “or regulations made under section 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.
Regulation 11 (combination of polls)After sub-paragraph (b) insert “or (c) the poll at a referendum in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the 1992 Act”
Schedule 1 (European Parliamentary Elections Rules)In rule 23(4) and (5) after paragraph (b) in each place insert “or (c) the poll at a referendum in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”
Schedule 2 (Absent Voting)

In paragraph 17(9) after “the Local Government Act 2000,” insert “or regulations made under section 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”

In paragraph 40(1) after sub-paragraph (d) in the definition of “relevant election or referendum” insert “(e) referendum conducted in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

In paragraph 40(2)(b), (c), and (d) after “that regulation” in each place insert “or regulation 2(1) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be)”.

In paragraph 41 after sub-paragraph (b) insert “or (c) the poll at a referendum in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Schedule 3 (Modification of European Parliamentary Elections Rules for Combined Polls)In paragraph 2(2)(a) after the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2007 insert “or regulation 2(1) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be)”.

Table 9

Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006(125)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 2 (Interpretation)

In paragraph 1 after “the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2001” in each place insert “or the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be)”.

Omit paragraph (3)(a).

Schedule 3 (rules for conduct of an election of councillors of a principal area where the poll is taken together with the poll at a relevant election or referendum)In rule 45(5)(b) after “the Local Government Act 2000,” insert “or regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Table 10

Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006(126)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 2 (interpretation)

In paragraph (1)—

(a)

in the definition of “counting officer” after “the Local Authorities Conduct of Referendums (England) Regulations 2001” insert “or regulation 2(1) of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be)”;

(b)

in the definition of “referendum” after the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2001” insert “or regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Schedule 3 (rules for conduct of an election of councillors of a parish or community where the poll is taken together with the poll at a relevant election or referendum)

In rule 45(4)(b) after “Local Government Act 2000” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Table 11

Greater London Authority Elections Rules 2007(127)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 2 (interpretation)In paragraph (1) in the definition of “referendum” after “the Referendum Regulations” insert or a referendum conducted in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.
Regulation 5 (rules for Authority elections combined with a relevant election or referendum)In paragraph (1)(b) after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or regulations made under sections 52ZQ or 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.
Schedule 5 (the Constituency Members Election Rules)

In rule 2(1)—

(a)

in the definition of “counting observer”, “counting officer”, “polling observer” and “voting area” after “the Referendum Regulations” in each place insert “or regulation 2 of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be);

(b)

in the definition of “referendum” after “the Referendum Regulations” insert “the Local Authorities Conduct of Referendums (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

(c)

in paragraph (d) of the definition of “relevant election or referendum” after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

In rule 49(2)(b) after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or regulations made under sections 52ZQ or 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Schedule 6 (the London Members Elections Rules)

In rule 2(1)—

(a)

in the definition of “counting observer”, “counting officer”, “polling observer” and “voting area” after “the Referendum Regulations” in each place insert “or regulation 2 of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be);

(b)

in the definition of “referendum” after “the Referendum Regulations” insert“the Local Authorities Conduct of Referendums (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

(c)

in paragraph (d) of the definition of “relevant election or referendum” after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

In rule 50(2)(b) after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or regulations made under section 52ZQ or 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Schedule 7 (the Mayoral Elections Rules)

In rule 2(1)—

(a)

in the definition of “counting observer”, “counting officer”, “polling observer” and “voting area” after “the Referendum Regulations” in each place insert “or regulation 2 of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 (as the case may be)”;

(b)

in the definition of “referendum” after “the Referendum Regulations” insert “the Local Authorities Conduct of Referendums (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

(c)

in paragraph (d) of the definition of “relevant election or referendum” after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

In rule 49(2)(b) after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or regulations made under section 52ZQ or 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Schedule 8 (Combined Manual Count Rules)In rule 2(1) in paragraph (d) of the definition of “relevant election or referendum” after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Table 12

Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007(128)

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 2 (interpretation)In the definition of “the Referendums Regulations” after “the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2001” insert “or the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”
Schedule 3 (Mayoral Election (Combination of Polls) RulesIn rule 47(4)(b) after “the Local Government Act 2000” insert “or sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.

Table 13

The Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2012

(1) Provision(2) Modification
Regulation 2 (interpretation)In paragraph (1) in the definition of “relevant election or referendum” after sub-paragraph (f) insert “(g) or a referendum held in accordance with regulations made under section 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992”.
Regulation 10 (combination of polls: general)After paragraph (8) insert “(9) Where the poll at the referendum is to be taken on the same day as the poll is to be taken at a referendum held in accordance with regulations made under sections 52ZQ and 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the polls may be taken together if the counting officer for each of those referendums thinks fit”.
Regulation 11 (combination of referendums and election polls: conduct of referendums)In paragraph (1) for “10(1) or (5)” substitute “10(1), (5) or (9)”.

Regulation 18

SCHEDULE 5The Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules

  1. PART 1 Citation and interpretation

    1. 1.Citation

    2. 2.Interpretation

  2. PART 2 Provisions as to time

    1. 3.Timetable

    2. 4.Computation of time

  3. PART 3 General provisions

    1. 5.Notice of referendum

    2. 6.Poll to be taken by ballot

    3. 7.The ballot papers

    4. 8.The corresponding number list

    5. 9.The official mark

    6. 10.Prohibition of disclosure of vote

    7. 11.Use of schools and public rooms

  4. PART 4 Action to be taken before the poll

    1. 12.Notice of Poll

    2. 13.Postal ballot papers

    3. 14.Provision of polling stations

    4. 15.Appointment of presiding officers and clerks

    5. 16.Issue of official poll cards

    6. 17.Equipment of polling stations

    7. 18.Appointment of counting observers

    8. 19.Appointment of polling observers

    9. 20.Notification of requirement of secrecy in respect of polling stations

    10. 21.Notification of requirement of secrecy in respect of the count

    11. 22.Return of postal ballot papers

  5. PART 5 The poll

    1. 23.Admission to the polling station

    2. 24.Keeping of order in station

    3. 25.Sealing of ballot boxes

    4. 26.Questions to be put to voters and proxies

    5. 27.Challenge of voter or proxy

    6. 28.Voting procedure

    7. 29.Votes marked by presiding officer

    8. 30.Voting by persons with disabilities

    9. 31.Tendered ballot papers: circumstances where available

    10. 32.Tendered ballot papers: general provisions

    11. 33.Spoilt ballot papers

    12. 34.Correction of errors on day of poll

    13. 35.Adjournment of poll in case of riot

    14. 36.Procedure on close of poll

  6. PART 6 Counting of votes

    1. 37.Attendance at counting of votes

    2. 38.The count

    3. 39.Rejected ballot papers

    4. 40.Decisions on ballot papers

  7. PART 7 Final Proceedings and Miscellaneous

    1. 41.Declaration of result

    2. 42.Chief Counting Officer’s re-count

    3. 43.Counting officer’s statement and declaration of result

    4. 44.Sealing up of ballot papers

    5. 45.Delivery of documents to relevant registration officer

    6. 46.Orders for production of documents

    7. 47.Retention of documents

    8. 48.Countermand or abandonment of poll at election on death of candidate

  8. PART 8 Appendix of Forms

PART 1Citation and interpretation

Citation

1.  These Rules may be cited as the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules.

Interpretation

2.  (1)  In these Rules—

(a)subject to paragraph (2) below, “relevant returning or counting officer” means the returning or the counting officer (as the case may be) discharging the functions under regulation 5 of the Combination of Polls Regulations(129); and

(b)“voter” means a person entitled to vote on his or her own behalf.

(2) Where regulation 17(1) applies and referendums and elections are not taken together in accordance with section 15(2)(A) of the 1985 Act, references to the “relevant returning or counting officer” are to be construed as references to the counting officer for the relevant billing authority.

(3) Subject to paragraph (1), expressions used both in these Rules and the 1983 Act (as it applies to local government elections) have the same meaning in these Rules as they have in that Act.

PART 2Provisions as to time

Timetable

3.  The proceedings at the referendum shall be conducted in accordance with the following Timetable.

Timetable
Proceedings
Publication of notice of referendumNot later than the twenty-fifth day before the day of referendum.
Notice of pollNot later than the sixth day before the day of the referendum.
PollingBetween the hours of 7 in the morning and 10 at night on the day of referendum.

Computation of time

4.  In computing any period of time for the purposes of the Timetable the days mentioned in regulation 23(2)(a) to (c) shall be disregarded, and any such day shall not be treated as a day for the purpose of any proceedings up to the completion of the poll nor shall the relevant returning or counting officer, nor the counting officer, be obliged to take any step in relation to the counting of the votes on such a day.

PART 3General provisions

Notice of referendum

5.  (1)  The counting officer must publish notice of the referendum stating the date of the poll.

(2) The notice of referendum must state the date by which—

(a)applications to vote by post or by proxy; and

(b)other applications and notices about postal or proxy voting,

must reach the registration officer in order that they may be effective for the referendum.

Poll to be taken by ballot

6.  A poll must be taken at the referendum and the votes at the poll must be given by ballot.

The ballot papers

7.  (1)  The ballot of every person entitled to a vote at the referendum must consist of a ballot paper.

(2) Every ballot paper to be used in the referendum must be in the appropriate form in the Appendix.

(3) Every ballot paper must—

(a)be capable of being folded up;

(b)have a number and other unique identifying mark printed on the back; and

(c)be a different colour from the ballot papers used at any other relevant election or referendum.

The corresponding number list

8.  (1)  Subject to paragraph (2), the relevant returning or counting officer must prepare a list containing the numbers and other unique identifying marks of all of the ballot papers to be issued by that person in pursuance of rule 13(1) or provided by him or her in pursuance of rule 17(1).

(2) Where proceedings on the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers in the referendum are not taken together with such proceedings at one or more relevant elections and referendums, the counting officer must prepare the list mentioned in paragraph (1) in respect of all of the ballot papers to be issued by him or her in pursuance of rule 13(1).

(3) The list must be in the form M1 in the Appendix or a form to like effect.

The official mark

9.  (1)  Every ballot paper must contain an appropriate security marking (the official mark).

(2) The official mark must be kept secret.

(3) The counting officer may use a different official mark for different purposes at the same referendum.

Prohibition of disclosure of vote

10.  No person who has voted at the referendum shall, in any legal proceeding to question the referendum, be required to state for which answer he or she has voted.

Use of schools and public rooms

11.  (1)  The counting officer and the relevant returning or counting officer may use, free of charge, for relevant purposes—

(a)a room in a school maintained or assisted by a local authority (as defined in the Education Act 1996(130) or a school in respect of which grants are made out of moneys provided by Parliament to the person or body of persons responsible for the management of the school;

(b)a room the expense of maintaining which is payable out of any rate.

(2) That officer must make good any damage done to, and defray any expense incurred by the persons having control over, any such room as mentioned above by reason of its being used for the purpose of taking the poll or counting the votes.

(3) In paragraph (1) “relevant purposes” means—

(a)in the case of the counting officer, the counting of the votes; and

(b)in the case of the relevant returning or counting officer, the taking of the poll and the discharging of the functions under rule 38(1) or (5) (where applicable).

PART 4Action to be taken before the poll

Notice of Poll

12.  (1)  The counting officer must publish notice of the poll stating—

(a)the day and hours fixed for the poll; and

(b)the question to be asked in the referendum.

(2) The notice of the poll must be published no later than the sixth day before the date of the referendum.

(3) The relevant returning or counting officer must, not later than the time of the publication of the notice of the poll, also give public notice of—

(a)the situation of each polling station; and

(b)the description of persons entitled to vote there.

(4) The notice published under paragraph (3) must—

(a)state that the poll at the referendum is to be taken together with the poll at a relevant election or referendum;

(b)specify the parliamentary constituency(131), local counting area, Assembly constituency, voting area or, as the case may be, the relevant local authority and, in the case of an election to fill a casual vacancy, the electoral area for which the relevant election or referendum is held; and

(c)where any of the polls are to be taken together in part of the electoral area or voting area only, specify that part.

Postal ballot papers

13.  (1)  The relevant returning or counting officer must, in accordance with regulations made under the 1983 Act(132), issue to those entitled to vote by post a ballot paper and a postal voting statement in the appropriate form in the Appendix, or a form to like effect, together with such envelopes for their return as may be prescribed by such regulations.

(2) The relevant returning or counting officer must also issue to those entitled to vote by post such information as he or she thinks appropriate about how to obtain—

(a)translations into languages other than English of any directions to or guidance for voters and proxies sent with the ballot paper;

(b)a translation into Braille of such directions or guidance;

(c)graphical representations of such directions or guidance;

(d)the directions or guidance in any other form (including any audible form).

(3) The postal voting statement must include provision for the form to be signed and for stating the date of birth of the voter or proxy.

(4) In the case of a ballot paper issued to a person at an address in the United Kingdom, the relevant returning or counting officer must ensure that the return of the ballot paper and postal voting statement is free of charge to the voter or proxy.

(5) In paragraphs (1), (2) and (4) for “relevant returning or counting officer” substitute “counting officer” where proceedings on the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers at the referendum are not taken together with such proceedings at one or more relevant elections or referendums.

Provision of polling stations

14.  (1)  The relevant returning or counting officer must provide a sufficient number of polling stations and, subject to the following provisions of this rule, must allot the voters to the polling stations in such manner as he or she thinks most convenient.

(2) The polling stations are the polling places or polling stations (as the case may be) designated for the purposes of the election or referendum for which the relevant returning or counting officer discharges functions which are not combined functions.

(3) In paragraph (2) “combined functions” means functions under regulation 5 of the Combination of Polls Regulations.

(4) One or more polling stations may be provided in the same room.

(5) The polling station allotted to voters from any parliamentary polling district wholly or partly within the voting area must, in the absence of special circumstances, be in the parliamentary polling place for that district.

(6) The relevant returning or counting officer must provide each polling station with such number of compartments as may be necessary in which the voters and proxies can mark their votes screened from observation.

Appointment of presiding officers and clerks

15.  (1)  The relevant returning or counting officer must appoint and pay a presiding officer to attend at each polling station and such clerks as may be necessary for the purposes of the referendum.

(2) The relevant returning or counting officer may, if he or she thinks fit, preside at a polling station and the provisions of these Rules relating to a presiding officer shall apply to a relevant returning or counting officer so presiding with the necessary modifications as to things to be done by the relevant returning or counting officer to the presiding officer or by the presiding officer to the relevant returning or counting officer.

(3) A presiding officer may do, by the clerks appointed to assist him or her, any act (including the asking of questions) which he or she is required or authorised by these Rules to do at a polling station except order the arrest, exclusion or removal of any person from the polling station.

Issue of official poll cards

16.  (1)  The counting officer must as soon as practicable after the publication of the notice of referendum send to each voter and proxy an official poll card.

(2) The official poll card must be sent or delivered—

(a)in the case of a voter, to his or her qualifying address; and

(b)in the case of a proxy, to his or her address as shown in the list of proxies.

(3) The official poll card must be in the appropriate form in the Appendix, or a form to the like effect, and must set out—

(a)the name of the council and of the voting area;

(b)the name of the voter and his or her qualifying address and number on the register;

(c)the date and hours of the poll and the situation of the voter’s polling station;

(d)such other information as the counting officer thinks appropriate,

and different information may be provided in pursuance of sub-paragraph (d) to different voters or to different descriptions of voter.

(4) In the case of a voter with an anonymous entry, instead of containing the matter mentioned in paragraph (3)(b), the poll card must contain such matter as is specified in the appropriate form in the Appendix.

(5) In this rule references to a voter—

(a)mean a person who is registered in the register of local government electors for the voting area in question on the last day for the publication of notice of the referendum; and

(b)include a person then shown in the register as below voting age if (but only if) it appears from the register that he or she will be of voting age on the day fixed for the poll.

(6) If the counting officer and the returning or counting officer (as the case may be) for each relevant election or referendum think fit, an official poll card issued under this rule may be combined with the official poll card issued at every relevant election or referendum.

Equipment of polling stations

17.  (1)  The relevant returning or counting officer must provide each presiding officer with such number of ballot boxes and ballot papers as in the former officer’s opinion may be necessary.

(2) The same ballot box may be used for the poll at the referendum and the poll at every relevant election or referendum, if the relevant returning or counting officer thinks fit.

(3) Every ballot box must be so constructed that the ballot papers can be put in it, but cannot be withdrawn from it, without the box being unlocked or, where the box has no lock, the seal being broken.

(4) The relevant returning or counting officer must provide each polling station with—

(a)materials to enable voters and proxies to mark the ballot papers;

(b)copies of the register of electors for the voting area or such part of it as contains the names of the voters allotted to the station;

(c)the parts of any special lists prepared for the referendum corresponding to the register of electors for the voting area or the part of it provided under sub-paragraph (b);

(d)a list, in the form M2 in the Appendix or a form to like effect, consisting of that part of the list prepared under rule 8 which contains the numbers (but not the other unique identifying marks) corresponding to those on the ballot papers provided to the presiding officer of the polling station.

(5) The reference in paragraph (4)(b) to the copies of the register of electors includes a reference to copies of any notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act(133) in respect of alterations to the register.

(6) The relevant returning or counting officer must also provide each polling station with—

(a)at least one large version of each ballot paper which must be printed on the same colour paper as the corresponding ballot paper and displayed inside the polling station for the assistance of voters and proxies who are partially sighted; and

(b)a device of such description as is set out in paragraph (11) for enabling voters and proxies who are blind or partially sighted to vote without any need for assistance from the presiding officer or any companion (within the meaning of rule 30(1)).

(7) Where notwithstanding paragraph (2) separate ballot boxes are to be used, each ballot box must be clearly marked with—

(a)the election or referendum to which it relates, as shown on the ballot papers for that election or referendum; and

(b)the words “Place the [specify colour of ballot papers in question] ballot papers in here”.

(8) A notice in the form in the Appendix, giving directions for the guidance of voters and proxies in voting, must be printed in conspicuous characters and exhibited inside and outside every polling station.

(9) The relevant returning or counting officer may also provide copies of the notice mentioned in paragraph (8) in Braille or translated into languages other than English as he or she considers appropriate, provided that these notices are accurate reproductions in Braille or that other language of that notice.

(10) In every compartment of every polling station there must be exhibited the following notice—

*PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

([Specify colour] ballot paper)

vote for ONE candidate only

*EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

([specify colour] ballot paper)

vote for ONE party or individual candidate only

*[specify name of council ...] COUNCIL ELECTION

([specify colour] ballot paper)

*vote for no more than .... Candidates

*vote for ONE candidate only

*ELECTION OF THE MAYOR OF LONDON

([specify colour] ballot paper)

#[On the ballot paper for the election of the Mayor, vote ONCE for your first choice and ONCE for your second choice]

*ELECTION OF THE LONDON ASSEMBLY

[On the constituency members ballot paper [specify colour] vote for ONE candidate only]

#[On the London members ballot paper [specify colour] vote for ONE party or individual candidate only]

* REFERENDUM on [Specify name of authority in respect of which referendum is held]’s council tax increase for the financial year [specify financial year]

([specify colour] ballot paper)

Mark a cross (X) in the box on the right hand side of the answer of your choice.

Vote ONCE only.

*[specify other] ELECTION/REFERENDUM

([specify colour] ballot paper)

#[vote for one candidate/answer only] [vote ONCE for your first choice and ONCE for your second choice]

PUT NO OTHER MARK ON THE BALLOT PAPERS, OR YOUR VOTE MAY NOT BE COUNTED

*Complete or omit as necessary.

#This wording should be used where the Greater London Returning Officer (within the meaning of the Greater London Authority Act 1999)(134) has not supplied wording pursuant to the Greater London Authority Elections (No 2) Rules 2000(135).

(11) The device referred to in paragraph (6)(b) must—

(a)allow a ballot paper to be inserted into and removed from, or attached to and detached from, the device easily and without damage to the paper;

(b)hold the ballot paper firmly in place during use; and

(c)provide suitable means for the voter or proxy to—

(i)identify the spaces on the ballot paper on which that person may mark his or her vote;

(ii)identify the registered party or individual candidate or answer to which each such space refers; and

(iii)mark his or her vote on the space he or she has chosen.

Appointment of counting observers

18.  (1)  The counting officer must appoint persons to observe the counting of the votes and the verification of the ballot paper account (“counting observers”).

(2) Where the counting officer is not the relevant returning or counting officer, he or she must give notice in writing of the appointments of counting observers to that officer as soon as is practicable following the appointment.

(3) In the following provisions of these Rules references to counting observers shall be taken as references to counting observers whose appointments have been duly made.

(4) Where by these Rules any act or thing is required or authorised to be done in the presence of the counting observers, the non-attendance of any such person at the time and place appointed for the purpose shall not, if the act or thing is otherwise duly done, invalidate the act or thing done.

Appointment of polling observers

19.  (1)  The counting officer may appoint persons to attend at polling stations for the purpose of detecting personation (“polling observers”).

(2) Where the counting officer is not the relevant returning or counting officer, he or she must give notice in writing of the appointment to the relevant returning or counting officer.

(3) That notice must state the names and addresses of the persons appointed and must be given not later than the fifth day (disregarding any day specified in rule 4) before the day of the poll.

(4) Not more than four polling observers or polling agents, or such greater number as the relevant returning or counting officer may by notice allow, shall be permitted to attend at any particular polling station and if the number of such polling observers or agents exceeds that number, the relevant returning or counting officer must determine which polling observers or agents are permitted to attend by lot and only the polling observers and agents on whom the lot falls shall be deemed to have been duly appointed.

(5) In the following provisions of these Rules references to polling observers shall be taken as references to polling observers whose appointments have been duly made.

(6) Where by these Rules any act or thing is required or authorised to be done in the presence of the polling observers, the non-attendance of any such person at the time and place appointed for the purpose shall not, if the act or thing is otherwise duly done, invalidate the act or thing done.

Notification of requirement of secrecy in respect of polling stations

20.  The relevant returning or counting officer must make such arrangements as he or she thinks fit to ensure that every person attending at a polling station (otherwise than for the purpose of voting or assisting a voter or proxy with disabilities to vote or as a constable on duty there) has been given a copy in writing of the provisions of subsections (1), (3) and (6) of section 66 of the 1983 Act, as applied by Schedule 4(136).

Notification of requirement of secrecy in respect of the count

21.  The counting officer must make such arrangements as he or she thinks fit to ensure that every person attending at the counting of the votes (other than any constable on duty at the counting) has been given a copy in writing of the provisions of subsections (2) and (6) of section 66 of the 1983 Act, as applied by Schedule 4.

Return of postal ballot papers

22.  (1)  Where—

(a)a postal vote has been returned in respect of a person who is entered on the postal voters list; or

(b)a proxy postal vote has been returned in respect of a proxy who is entered on the proxy postal voters list,

the relevant returning or counting officer must mark the list in the manner prescribed by regulations made under the 1983 Act.(137)

(2) In paragraph (1) for “relevant returning or counting officer” substitute “counting officer” where proceedings on the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers at the referendum are not taken together with such proceedings at one or more relevant elections or referendums.

(3) Rule 38(7) does not apply for the purpose of determining whether, for the purposes of this rule, a postal vote or a proxy postal vote is returned.

PART 5The poll

Admission to the polling station

23.  (1)  The presiding officer must exclude all persons from the polling station except—

(a)voters and proxies;

(b)persons under the age of 18 who accompany voters and proxies to the polling station;

(c)the polling observers appointed to attend at the polling station;

(d)the clerks appointed to attend at the polling station;

(e)persons who are entitled to attend by virtue of any of sections 6A to 6D of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000(138);

(f)the constables on duty;

(g)the companions of voters and proxies with disabilities; and

(h)persons entitled to be admitted to the polling station at a relevant election or referendum with which the poll at the referendum is combined.

(2) The presiding officer must regulate the total number of voters and proxies and persons under the age of 18 who accompany them to be admitted to the polling station at the same time.

(3) A constable or person employed by any returning or counting officer at any relevant election or referendum must not be admitted to vote in person elsewhere than at his or her own polling station allotted to him or her under these Rules, except on production and surrender of a certificate as to his or her employment which must be in the form in the Appendix, or a form to the like effect, and signed by an officer of police of or above the rank of inspector or by the returning or counting officer by whom the person is employed, as the case may be.

(4) Any certificate surrendered under this rule must forthwith be cancelled.

Keeping of order in station

24.  (1)  It is the presiding officer’s duty to keep order at his or her polling station.

(2) If a person misconducts himself or herself in a polling station, or fails to obey the presiding officer’s lawful orders, that person may immediately, by the presiding officer’s order, be removed from the polling station—

(a)by a constable in or near that station; or

(b)by any other person authorised in writing by the relevant returning or counting officer to remove him or her,

and the person so removed shall not, without the presiding officer’s permission, again enter the polling station during the day.

(3) Any person so removed may, if charged with the commission in the polling station of an offence, be dealt with as a person taken into custody by a constable for an offence without a warrant.

(4) The powers conferred by this rule must not be exercised so as to prevent a voter or proxy who is otherwise entitled to vote at a polling station from having an opportunity of voting at that station.

Sealing of ballot boxes

25.  Immediately before the commencement of the poll, the presiding officer must show the ballot box empty to such persons, if any, as are present in the polling station, so that they may see that it is empty, and must then lock it up, if it has a lock and (in any case) place his or her seal on it in such a manner as to prevent its being opened without breaking the seal and must place it in his or her view for the receipt of ballot papers, and keep it so locked and sealed or sealed (as the case may be).

Questions to be put to voters and proxies

26.  (1)  At the time of the application for a ballot paper (but not afterwards), the questions specified in the second column of the following Table—

(a)may be put by the presiding officer to a person applying for a ballot paper who is mentioned in the first column; and

(b)must be put if the letter “R” appears after the question and a polling observer requires the question to be put:

Q NoPerson applying for ballot paperQuestion
1A person applying as a voter(a)—Are you the person registered in the register of local government electors for this voting area as follows?
(read the whole entry from the register [R])
(b)—Have you already voted here or elsewhere at this referendum, otherwise than as proxy for some other person? [R]
2A person applying as proxy(a)—Are you the person whose name appears as AB in the list of proxies for this voting area as entitled to vote as proxy on behalf of CD? [R]
(b)—Have you already voted here or elsewhere at this referendum as proxy on behalf of CD? [R]
(c)—Are you the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of CD? [R]
3A person applying as proxy for a voter with an anonymous entry (instead of the questions at entry 2)(a)—Are you the person entitled to vote as proxy on behalf of the voter whose number on the register of electors is (read out the number)? [R]
(b)—Have you already voted here or elsewhere as proxy on behalf of the voter whose number on the register of electors is (read out the number)? [R]
(c)—Are you the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the person whose number on the register of electors is (read out the number)? [R]
4A person applying as proxy if the question at entry 2(c) or 3(c) is not answered in the affirmativeHave you already voted at this referendum on behalf of two persons of whom you are not the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild? [R]
5A person applying as a voter in relation to whom there is an entry in the postal voters list(a)—Did you apply to vote by post?
(b)—Why have you not voted by post?
6A person applying as proxy who is named in the proxy postal voters list(a)—Did you apply to vote by post as proxy?
(b)—Why have you not voted by post as proxy?

(2) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, the references in the questions at entries 1(a) and 3(a), (b) and (c) to reading from the register shall be taken as references to reading from the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act.

(3) A ballot paper must not be delivered to any person required to answer any of the above questions unless that person has answered each question satisfactorily.

(4) Except as authorised by this rule, no inquiry shall be permitted as to the right of any person to vote.

Challenge of voter or proxy

27.  A person must not be prevented from voting by reason only that—

(a)any polling observer permitted to be present in accordance with rule 23(1) declares that he or she has reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed an offence of personation; or

(b)the person is arrested on the grounds that he or she is suspected of committing or of being about to commit such an offence.

Voting procedure

28.  (1)  A ballot paper must be delivered to a voter or proxy who applies for one, and immediately before delivery—

(a)the number and (unless paragraph (2) applies) name of the voter as stated in the copy of the register of electors must be called out;

(b)the number of the voter as stated in the register must be marked on the list mentioned in rule 17(4)(d) beside the number of the ballot paper to be issued to him or her;

(c)a mark must be placed in the copy of the register of electors against the number of the voter to note that a ballot paper has been received but without showing the particular ballot paper which has been received; and

(d)in the case of a person applying for a ballot paper as proxy, a mark must also be placed against his or her name in the list of proxies.

(2) In the case of a voter who has an anonymous entry, that person must show the presiding officer his or her official poll card and only his or her number shall be called out in pursuance of paragraph (1)(a).

(3) In the case of a voter or proxy who is added to the register in pursuance of a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act,(139) paragraph (1) is modified as follows—

(a)in sub-paragraph (a), for “copy of the register of electors” substitute “copy of the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (b), for “in the register” substitute “on the copy of the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”;

(c)in sub-paragraph (c), for “in the copy of the register of electors” substitute “on the copy of the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

(4) The voter or proxy, on receiving the ballot paper, must forthwith proceed into one of the compartments in the polling station and there secretly mark his or her paper and fold it up so as to conceal his or her vote, and must then show to the presiding officer the back of the paper, so as to disclose the number and other unique identifying mark, and put the ballot paper so folded up into the ballot box in the presiding officer’s presence.

(5) The voter or proxy must vote without undue delay, and must leave the polling station as soon as he or she has put his or her ballot paper into the ballot box.

(6) The same copy of the register of electors which is used under paragraph (1) for the referendum or, where paragraph (3) applies, the same copy of the notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, may be used for each relevant election or referendum, and—

(a)one mark may be placed in that copy of the register or on that notice under paragraph (1)(c) or in the list of proxies under paragraph (1)(d) to denote that a ballot paper has been issued in respect of each election or referendum; but

(b)where a ballot paper has not been issued in respect of a relevant election or referendum, a different mark must be placed in the copy of that register or, as the case may be, on that notice or in that list so as to identify each election or referendum in respect of which a ballot paper was issued.

Votes marked by presiding officer

29.  (1)  The presiding officer, on the application of a voter or proxy—

(a)who is incapacitated by blindness or other disability from voting in the manner directed by these Rules; or

(b)who declares orally that he or she is unable to read,

must, in the presence of the polling observers (if any), cause that person’s vote to be marked on a ballot paper in the manner directed by that person, and the ballot paper to be placed in the ballot box.

(2) The name and number on the register of electors of every person whose vote is marked in pursuance of this rule, and the reason why it is so marked, must be entered on a list (in these Rules called “the list of votes marked by the presiding officer”).

(3) In the case of a person voting as proxy for a voter, the number to be entered together with the proxy’s name shall be the number in the register of the voter.

(4) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, paragraph (2) applies as if for “on the register of electors of every person” there were substituted “relating to every person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

(5) The same list may be used for the referendum and each relevant election or referendum and, where it is so used, an entry in that list shall be taken to mean that the ballot papers were so marked in respect of each election or referendum, unless the list identifies the election or referendum at which the ballot paper was so marked.

Voting by persons with disabilities

30.  (1)  If a voter or proxy makes an application to the presiding officer to be allowed, on the ground of—

(a)blindness or other disability; or

(b)inability to read,

to vote with the assistance of another person by whom he or she is accompanied (in these Rules referred to as “the companion”), the presiding officer must require the voter or proxy to declare, orally or in writing, whether he or she is so incapacitated by his or her blindness or other disability, or by his or her inability to read, as to be unable to vote without assistance.

(2) If the presiding officer—

(a)is satisfied that the voter or proxy is so incapacitated, and

(b)is also satisfied by a written declaration made by the companion (in these Rules referred to as “the declaration made by the companion of a voter or proxy with disabilities”) that the companion—

(i)is a qualified person within the meaning of this rule; and

(ii)has not previously assisted more than one voter or proxy with disabilities to vote at the referendum,

the presiding officer must grant the application, and then anything which is by these Rules required to be done to or by that voter or proxy in connection with the giving of his or her vote may be done to, or with the assistance of, the companion.

(3) For the purposes of these Rules, a person is a voter or proxy with disabilities if he or she has made such a declaration as is mentioned in paragraph (1), and a person shall be qualified to assist a voter or proxy with disabilities to vote if that person—

(a)is a person who is entitled to vote on his or her own behalf at the referendum; or

(b)is the father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, civil partner, son or daughter of the voter or proxy and has attained the age of 18 years.

(4) The name and number in the register of electors of every person whose vote is given in accordance with this rule and the name and address of the companion must be entered on a list (in these Rules referred to as “the list of voters and proxies with disabilities assisted by companions”).

In the case of a person voting as proxy for a voter, the number to be entered together with the proxy’s name shall be the number in the register of the voter.

(5) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, paragraph (4) applies as if for “in the register of electors of every person” there were substituted “relating to every person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

(6) The same list may be used for the referendum and each relevant election or referendum and, where it is so used, an entry in that list shall be taken to mean that the votes were so given in respect of each election or referendum, unless the list identifies the election or referendum at which the vote was so given.

(7) The declaration made by the companion of a voter or proxy with disabilities—

(a)must be in the form in the Appendix;

(b)must be made before the presiding officer at the time when the voter or proxy applies to vote with the assistance of a companion; and

(c)must forthwith be given to the presiding officer who must attest and retain it.

(8) No fee or other payment shall be charged in respect of the declaration.

Tendered ballot papers: circumstances where available

31.  (1)  If a person, representing himself or herself to be—

(a)a particular voter named on the register and not named in the absent voters list; or

(b)a particular person named in the list of proxies as proxy for a voter and not entitled to vote by post as proxy,

applies for a ballot paper after another person has voted in person either as the voter or his or her proxy, the applicant shall, on satisfactorily answering the questions permitted by law to be asked at the poll, be entitled, subject to the provisions of rule 32, to mark a ballot paper (in these Rules referred to as “a tendered ballot paper”) in the same manner as any other voter.

(2) Paragraph (4) applies if—

(a)a person applies for a ballot paper representing himself or herself to be a particular voter named on the register;

(b)he or she is also named in the postal voters list; and

(c)he or she claims that he or she did not make an application to vote by post.

(3) Paragraph (4) also applies if—

(a)a person applies for a ballot paper representing himself or herself to be a particular person named as a proxy in the list of proxies;

(b)he or she is also named in the proxy postal voters list; and

(c)he or she claims that he or she did not make an application to vote by post as proxy.

(4) The person shall, on satisfactorily answering the questions permitted by law to be asked at the poll, be entitled, subject to the provisions of rule 32, to mark a ballot paper (in these Rules referred to as a “tendered ballot paper”) in the same manner as any other voter.

(5) Paragraph (6) applies if, before the close of the poll but after the last time at which a person may apply for a replacement postal ballot paper, a person represents himself or herself to be—

(a)a particular voter named on the register who is also named in the postal voters list; or

(b)a particular person named as a proxy in the list of proxies and who is also named in the proxy postal voters list,

and claims that he or she has lost or has not received his or her postal ballot paper.

(6) The person shall, on satisfactorily answering the questions permitted by law to be asked at the poll, be entitled, subject to the provisions of rule 32, to mark a ballot paper (in these Rules referred to as a “tendered ballot paper”) in the same manner as any other voter.

Tendered ballot papers: general provisions

32.  (1)  A tendered ballot paper must—

(a)be of a colour differing from that of the other ballot papers;

(b)instead of being put into the ballot box, be given to the presiding officer and endorsed by him or her with the name of the person who has marked a tendered ballot paper and that person’s number in the register of electors, and set aside in a separate packet.

(2) The name of the person who has marked a tendered ballot paper and his or her number in the register of electors must be entered on a list (in these Rules referred to as the “tendered votes list”).

(3) The same list may be used for the referendum and each relevant election or referendum and, where it is so used, an entry in that list shall be taken to mean that tendered ballot papers were marked in respect of each election or referendum, unless the list identifies the election or referendum at which a tendered ballot paper was marked.

(4) In the case of a person voting as proxy for a voter, the number to be endorsed or entered together with the proxy’s name shall be the number in the register of the voter.

(5) In the case of a voter who has an anonymous entry, this rule and rule 31 apply subject to the following modifications—

(a)in paragraphs (1)(b) and (2) above, the references to the name of the person who has marked a tendered ballot paper shall be ignored;

(b)otherwise, a reference to a person named on a register or list shall be construed as a reference to a person whose number appears on the register or list (as the case may be).

(6) In the case of a person in respect of whom a notice has been issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act, this rule and rule 31 shall apply as if—

(a)in rule 31(1)(a), (2)(a) and (5)(a), for “named on the register” there were substituted “in respect of whom a notice under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act has been issued”;

(b)in paragraph (1)(b) of this rule, for “that person’s number in the register of electors” there were substituted “the number relating to him or her on a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”;

(c)in paragraph (2) of this rule, for “his or her number in the register of electors” there were substituted “the number relating to him or her on a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act”.

Spoilt ballot papers

33.  A voter or proxy who has inadvertently dealt with his or her ballot paper in such manner that it cannot be conveniently used as a ballot paper may, on delivering it to the presiding officer and proving to his or her satisfaction the fact of the inadvertence, obtain another ballot paper in the place of the ballot paper so delivered (in these Rules referred to as “a spoilt ballot paper”), and the spoilt ballot paper must be immediately cancelled.

Correction of errors on day of poll

34.  (1)  The presiding officer must keep a list of persons to whom ballot papers are delivered in consequence of an alteration to the register made by virtue of section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act which takes effect on the day of the poll.

(2) The same list may be used for each relevant election or referendum and, where it is so used, an entry in that list shall be taken to mean that ballot papers were issued in respect of each election or referendum, unless the list identifies the election or referendum for which a ballot paper was issued.

Adjournment of poll in case of riot

35.  (1)  Where the proceedings at any polling station are interrupted or obstructed by riot or open violence, the presiding officer must adjourn the proceedings till the following day and must forthwith give notice to the relevant returning or counting officer.

(2) Where the poll is adjourned at any polling station—

(a)the hours of polling on the day to which it is adjourned must be the same as for the original day; and

(b)references in these Rules to the close of the poll shall be construed accordingly.

Procedure on close of poll

36.  (1)  As soon as practicable after the close of the poll, the presiding officer must, in the presence of the polling observers appointed for the purposes of the referendum and the polling agents or observers appointed for the purposes of each relevant election or referendum, make up into separate packets, sealed with his or her own seal and the seals of such polling observers and agents as desire to affix their seals—

(a)each ballot box in use at the station, sealed so as to prevent the introduction of additional ballot papers and unopened, but with the key, if any, attached;

(b)the unused and spoilt ballot papers placed together;

(c)the tendered ballot papers;

(d)the marked copies of the register of electors (including any marked copy notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act) and of the list of proxies;

(e)the lists prepared under rule 8 including the parts which were completed in accordance with rule 28(1)(b) (together referred to in these Rules as “the completed corresponding number lists”);

(f)the certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll;

(g)the tendered votes list, the list of voters and proxies with disabilities assisted by companions, the list of votes marked by the presiding officer, a statement of the number of voters and proxies whose votes are so marked by the presiding officer under the heads “disability” and “unable to read”, the list maintained under rule 34 (correction of errors on day of poll) and the declarations made by the companions of voters and proxies with disabilities,

and must deliver the packets or cause them to be delivered to the relevant returning or counting officer to be taken charge of by that person; but if the packets are not delivered by the presiding officer personally to the relevant returning or counting officer, the arrangements for their delivery shall require that officer’s approval.

(2) The contents of the packets referred to in sub-paragraphs (b), (c) and (f) of paragraph (1) must not be combined with the contents of the packets made under the corresponding rule that applies at any relevant election or referendum; nor shall the statement prepared under paragraph (4) be so combined.

(3) The marked copies of the register of electors and of the list of proxies must be in one packet but must not be in the same packet as the completed corresponding number lists or the certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll.

(4) The packets must be accompanied by a statement (in these Rules referred to as “the ballot paper account”) made by the presiding officer showing the number of ballot papers entrusted to him or her, and accounting for them under the heads of ballot papers issued and not otherwise accounted for, unused, spoilt and tendered ballot papers.

PART 6Counting of votes

Attendance at counting of votes

37.  (1)  Where the counting officer at the referendum is the relevant returning or counting officer, he or she must—

(a)make arrangements for—

(i)discharging the functions under rule 38(1) and (5) (where applicable) in the presence of the counting observers appointed for the purposes of the referendum and the election agents and counting agents or observers appointed for the purpose of each relevant election or referendum as soon as practicable after the close of the poll, and

(ii)thereafter counting the votes at the referendum in the presence of the counting observers appointed for the purpose of that referendum; and

(b)give, to the counting observers appointed for the purposes of the referendum and the election agents and counting agents or observers appointed for the purpose of each relevant election or referendum, notice in writing of the time and place at which he or she will begin to discharge the functions under rule 38(1) and (5) (where applicable).

(2) Where the counting officer at the referendum is not the relevant returning or counting officer, he or she must—

(a)make arrangements for counting the votes in the presence of the counting observers as soon as practicable after the delivery of the ballot papers to him or her by the relevant returning or counting officer; and

(b)give to the counting observers notice in writing of the time after which he or she will begin to count the votes if by then he or she has received the ballot papers and of the place at which that count will take place.

(3) No person other than—

(a)the counting officer and his or her clerks;

(b)the counting observers;

(c)persons who are entitled to attend by virtue of any of sections 6A to 6D of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000;

(d)the Chief Counting Officer,

may be present at the counting of the votes, unless permitted by the counting officer to attend.

(4) No person other than a person entitled to be present at the counting of the votes at the referendum under paragraphs (5) to (16) of rule 38 or at a relevant election or referendum may be present at the proceedings under rule 38(1) unless permitted by the relevant returning or counting officer to attend.

(5) A person not entitled to attend at—

(a)the proceedings under rule 38(1); or

(b)the counting of the votes,

must not be permitted to do so by, respectively, the relevant returning or counting officer or the counting officer unless he or she is satisfied that the efficient separation of the ballot papers or, as the case may be, the efficient counting of the votes will not be impeded.

(6) The—

(a)relevant returning or counting officer, in respect of proceedings under rule 38(1) and (5); and

(b)counting officer, in respect of the counting of votes,

must give the counting observers all such reasonable facilities for overseeing the proceedings, and all such information with respect to them, as he or she can give them consistently with the orderly conduct of the proceedings and the discharge of his or her duties in connection with them.

(7) In particular, where the votes are counted by sorting the ballot papers according to the answer for which the vote is given and then counting the number of ballot papers for each answer, the counting observers shall be entitled to satisfy themselves that the ballot papers are correctly sorted.

The count

38.  (1)  Subject to paragraph (4), where the counting officer at the referendum is the relevant returning or counting officer, he or she must—

(a)in the presence of the counting observers appointed for the purposes of the poll at the referendum and the election agents and counting agents or observers appointed for the purposes of the poll at each relevant election or referendum, open each ballot box and record separately the number of ballot papers used in each election;

(b)in the presence of the counting observers appointed for the purposes of the poll at the referendum, and the election agents and counting agents or observers appointed for the purposes of each relevant election or referendum verify each ballot paper account;

(c)count such of the postal ballot papers as have been duly returned and record separately the number counted at the referendum and each relevant election or referendum;

(d)separate the ballot papers relating to the referendum from the ballot papers relating to each relevant election or referendum;

(e)make up into packets the ballot papers for each relevant election or referendum and seal them up in separate containers endorsing on each a description of the area to which the ballot papers relate;

(f)deliver or cause to be delivered to the returning or counting officer for the relevant election or referendum to which the ballot papers relate—

(i)those containers, together with a list of them and of the contents of each; and

(ii)the ballot paper accounts together with a copy of the statement as to the result of their verification in respect of that election; and

(g)at the same time deliver or cause to be delivered to that officer packets that so relate containing—

(i)the unused and spoilt ballot papers,

(ii)the tendered ballot papers, and

(iii)the certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll.

(2) Where separate ballot boxes are used, no vote for any candidate or answer shall be rendered invalid by the ballot paper being placed in the ballot box intended for use at any relevant election or referendum.

(3) After completion of the proceedings under paragraph (1), the counting officer must mix together all of the ballot papers used at the referendum and count the votes given on them.

(4) Where the relevant counting officer at a referendum is also the counting officer for another referendum, sub-paragraphs (e), (f) and (g) of paragraph (1) and paragraph (2) above shall not apply and paragraph (5) shall apply instead.

(5) The relevant counting officer must, in relation to the referendum and each of the other referendums—

(a)take proper precautions to ensure the ballot papers for the referendum and each of the other referendums are kept separately;

(b)mix together all of the ballot papers used at the referendum and count the votes given on them; and

(c)mix together all of the ballot papers used at the other referendum and count the votes given on them.

(6) Where the counting officer at the referendum is not the relevant returning or counting officer, he or she must—

(a)on receipt of containers from the relevant returning or counting officer, and after the time specified in the notice given under rule 37(2)(b), in the presence of the counting observers open each container;

(b)where the proceedings on the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers are not taken together with such proceedings at a relevant election or referendum under regulation 65 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001(140), or under that regulation as applied by these Regulations or by regulations made under sections 44 and 105 of the Local Government Act 2000, count such of the postal ballot papers as have been duly returned and record the number counted; and

(c)mix together the postal ballot papers and the ballot papers from all of the containers and count the votes given on them,

and paragraph (13) shall not apply to these proceedings.

(7) A postal ballot paper must not be taken to be duly returned unless—

(a)it is returned in the manner set out in paragraph (8) and reaches the relevant returning or counting officer or any polling station in the appropriate electoral area (as defined in paragraph (9)) before the close of the poll;

(b)the postal voting statement, duly signed, is also returned in the manner set out in paragraph (8) and reaches the counting officer or such a polling station before that time;

(c)the postal voting statement also states the date of birth of the voter or proxy; and

(d)in a case where steps for verifying the date of birth and signature of a voter or proxy have been prescribed by regulations made under the 1983 Act(141), the relevant returning or counting officer (having taken such steps) verifies that date of birth and that signature.

(8) The manner in which any postal ballot paper or postal voting statement may be returned—

(a)to the relevant returning or counting officer, is by hand or by post;

(b)to a polling station, is by hand.

(9) The appropriate electoral area in respect of any voter or proxy shall be—

(a)the area which is common to the parliamentary constituency(142), electoral area, local counting area, local authority area or voting area (as the case may be) in which the polls at the referendum and any relevant election or referendum are being taken together; and

(b)in respect of which polls the voter or proxy has been issued with a postal ballot paper.

(10) In paragraphs (7)(a) and (d) and (8)(a) for “relevant returning or counting officer” substitute “counting officer” where proceedings on the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers at the referendum are not taken together with such proceedings at one or more relevant elections or referendums.

(11) The counting officer must not count any tendered ballot papers.

(12) The—

(a)relevant returning or counting officer, in respect of the proceedings under paragraph (1) or (5) (where applicable); and

(b)the counting officer, while counting the votes,

must keep the ballot papers with their faces upwards and take all proper precautions for preventing any person from seeing the numbers or other unique identifying marks printed on the back of the papers.

(13) The relevant returning or counting officer must verify each ballot paper account by comparing it with the number of ballot papers recorded by him or her, and the unused and spoilt ballot papers in his or her possession and the tendered votes list (opening and resealing the packets containing the unused and spoilt ballot papers and the tendered votes list) and must draw up a statement as to the result of the verification, which any counting observer may copy.

(14) Where rules 42 and 43 apply, as soon as is practicable after the counting officer has drawn up the statement as to the result of the verification, he or she must inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents.

(15) The—

(a)relevant returning or counting officer, in respect of the proceedings under paragraph (1) and (5) (where applicable), and

(b)counting officer, in respect of the counting of the votes,

must so far as practicable proceed continuously, allowing only time for refreshment, except that they may exclude the hours between 7 in the evening and 9 on the following morning.

(16) During the time so excluded the relevant returning or counting officer or counting officer (as the case may be) must—

(a)place the ballot papers and other documents relating to the referendum under his or her own seal and the seals of such of the counting observers as desire to affix their seals; and

(b)otherwise take proper precautions for the security of the papers and documents.

Rejected ballot papers

39.  (1)  Any ballot paper—

(a)which does not bear the official mark; or

(b)on which votes are given for more than one answer; or

(c)on which anything is written or marked by which the voter or proxy can be identified except the printed number on the back and other unique identifying mark; or

(d)which is unmarked or void for uncertainty,

shall, subject to paragraph (2), be void and not counted.

(2) A ballot paper on which the vote is marked—

(a)elsewhere than in the proper place; or

(b)otherwise than by means of a cross; or

(c)by more than one mark,

shall not for such reason be deemed to be void if an intention that the vote shall be for one or the other of the answers clearly appears, and the way the paper is marked does not itself identify the voter or proxy and it is not shown that he or she can be identified by it.

(3) The counting officer must endorse the word “rejected” on any ballot paper which under this rule is not to be counted, and must add to the endorsement the words “rejection objected to” if any objection is made by a counting observer to the counting officer’s decision.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5) below, the counting officer must draw up a statement showing the number of ballot papers rejected under the several heads of—

(a)want of official mark;

(b)voting for more than one answer;

(c)writing or mark by which the voter or proxy could be identified;

(d)unmarked or void for uncertainty.

(5) Where rules 42 and 43 apply, the statement referred to in paragraph (4) above is to be a provisional statement and as soon as practicable after the completion of that statement, the counting officer shall inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents.

Decisions on ballot papers

40.  (1)  The decision of the counting officer on any question arising in respect of a ballot paper shall be final, but shall be subject to review on a referendum petition.

PART 7Final Proceedings and Miscellaneous

Declaration of result

41.  Subject to rules 42 and 43, when the result of the poll has been ascertained, the counting officer must forthwith—

(a)declare the result of the referendum;

(b)inform the authority in respect of which the referendum was held of the result of the referendum;

(c)give public notice of—

(i)the result of the referendum;

(ii)the number of ballot papers counted;

(iii)the total number of votes cast for each answer; and

(iv)the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the statement of rejected ballot papers.

Chief Counting Officer’s re-count

42.  (1)  This rule and rule 43 applies where two or more referendums are held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year.

(2) As soon as practicable after the conclusion of the count (which includes any re-count whether or not directed under this rule), the counting officer must draw up a provisional statement showing—

(a)the number of ballot papers counted by him or her; and

(b)the number of votes cast in favour of each answer to the question asked in the referendum.

(3) As soon as possible after completion of the provisional statement, the counting officer must inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents.

(4) Once the Chief Counting Officer has received the report of any counting officer on the contents of his or her provisional statement prepared under paragraph (2) and under rule 39(4), the Chief Counting Officer may direct the counting officer to re-count (or further re-count) the votes.

(5) A re-count directed by the Chief Counting Officer under paragraph (4) may be of the votes in all the voting areas, or in such of the voting areas as he or she considers reasonable.

(6) A counting officer must proceed with a re-count as soon as practicable after receipt of the Chief Counting Officer’s direction, and if not proceeding forthwith shall notify those counting observers entitled to be present at the re-count of the time and place at which he or she will begin to re-count the votes.

Counting officer’s statement and declaration of result

43.  (1)  When the Chief Counting Officer has determined not to direct that any re-count (or further re-count) must take place, he or she must direct the counting officers to draw up a final statement of the matters referred to in rule 42(2) and to provide final versions of their statements of rejected ballot papers.

(2) The counting officer, having drawn up the final statement, must—

(a)forthwith inform the Chief Counting Officer of its contents; and

(b)as soon as reasonably practicable give the Chief Counting Officer notice of the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the final statement of rejected ballot papers.

(3) When authorised by the Chief Counting Officer to do so, the counting officer must—

(a)make a declaration of the matters referred to in the final statement; and

(b)give public notice of those matters together with the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the final statement of rejected ballot papers.

(4) The Chief Counting Officer, having received notification of each of the counting officers’ final statement referred to in paragraph (1) must—

(a)draw up a statement of—

(i)the total number of ballot papers counted, and

(ii)the total number of votes cast in favour of each answer to the question asked,

in respect of all the referendums which relate to the precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year;

(b)forthwith make a declaration of the matters referred to in subparagraph (a); and

(c)as soon as reasonably practicable give public notice of those matters together with the number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown in the statements of rejected ballot papers.

Sealing up of ballot papers

44.  (1)  On the completion of the counting at a referendum, the counting officer must seal up in separate packets the counted and rejected ballot papers.

(2) The counting officer must not open the sealed packets of—

(a)tendered ballot papers; or

(b)certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll.

(3) The relevant returning or counting officer must not open the sealed packets of—

(a)the completed corresponding number lists; or

(b)the marked copies of the register of electors (including any marked copy notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act) and lists of proxies.

Delivery of documents to relevant registration officer

45.  (1)  Where the counting officer is the relevant returning or counting officer, he or she must then forward to the relevant registration officer the following documents—

(a)the packets of ballot papers in the counting officer’s possession;

(b)the ballot paper accounts and the statements of rejected ballot papers and of the result of the verification of the ballot paper accounts;

(c)the tendered votes lists, the lists of voters and proxies with disabilities assisted by companions, the lists of votes marked by the presiding officer and the related statements, the lists maintained under rule 34, and the declarations made by the companions of voters and proxies with disabilities;

(d)the packets of the completed corresponding number lists;

(e)the packets of certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll; and

(f)the packets containing marked copies of registers (including any marked copy notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act) and of the postal voters list, of the lists of proxies and of the proxy postal voters list,

endorsing on each packet a description of its contents, the date of the referendum to which they relate and the name of the relevant billing authority.

(2) Where the counting officer at the referendum is not the relevant returning or counting officer, paragraph (1) has effect as if sub-paragraphs (c), (d) and (f) were omitted.

(3) In this rule and in rules 46 and 47 references to the relevant registration officer are to—

(a)the registration officer of the relevant billing authority;

(b)if the electoral area of the relevant election or referendum comprises any part of the area of more than one local authority, the registration officer of the local authority in whose area the greater or greatest (as the case may be) number of electors is registered,

and for these purposes “local authority” does not include the Greater London Authority.

Orders for production of documents

46.  (1)  An order—

(a)for the inspection or production of any rejected ballot papers in the custody of the relevant registration officer; or

(b)for the opening of a sealed packet of the completed corresponding number lists or certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll or for the inspection of any counted ballot papers in the relevant registration officer’s custody,

may be made by a county court, if the court is satisfied by evidence on oath that the order is required for the purpose of instituting or maintaining a prosecution for an offence in relation to ballot papers, or for the purpose of a referendum petition.

(2) An order for the opening of a sealed packet of the completed corresponding number lists or certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll or for the inspection of any counted ballot papers in the custody of the relevant registration officer may be made by an election court.

(3) An order under this rule may be made subject to such conditions as to—

(a)persons;,

(b)time;

(c)place and mode of inspection;

(d)production or opening,

as the court making the order may think expedient.

(4) In making and carrying into effect an order for the opening of a packet of the completed corresponding number lists or certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll or for the inspection of counted ballot papers, care must be taken that the way in which the vote of any particular person has been given shall not be disclosed until it has been proved—

(a)that that person’s vote was given; and

(b)that the vote has been declared by a competent court to be invalid.

(5) An appeal lies to the High Court from any order of a county court under this rule.

(6) Any power given under this rule to a county court may be exercised by any judge of the court otherwise than in open court.

(7) Where an order is made for the production by the relevant registration officer of any document in his or her possession relating to any specified referendum—

(a)the production by the relevant registration officer or his or her agent of the document ordered in such manner as may be directed by that order shall be conclusive evidence that the document relates to the specified referendum; and

(b)any endorsement on any packet of ballot papers so produced shall be prima facie evidence that the ballot papers are what they are stated to be by the endorsement.

(8) The production from proper custody of—

(a)a ballot paper purporting to have been used at any referendum, and

(b)a completed corresponding number list with a number marked in writing beside the number of the ballot paper,

shall be prima facie evidence that the person whose vote was given by that ballot paper was the person whose entry in the register of electors or on a notice issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act at the time of the referendum contained the same number as the number written as mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) of this paragraph.

(9) Save as by this rule provided, no person shall be allowed to inspect any rejected or counted ballot papers in the possession of the relevant registration officer or open any sealed packets of the completed corresponding number lists or of certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll.

Retention of documents

47.  The relevant registration officer must retain for one year all documents relating to a referendum forwarded to him or her in pursuance of these Rules by the relevant returning or counting officer and the counting officer and then, unless otherwise directed by an order of a county court, the Crown Court, a magistrates’ court or an election court, must cause them to be destroyed.

Countermand or abandonment of poll at election on death of candidate

48.  Where at a contested election the notice of poll is countermanded, or the polling is abandoned, due to the death of a candidate, the polling at the referendum shall not be affected.

PART 8Appendix of Forms

Note:—The forms contained in this Appendix may be adapted so far as circumstances require.

  • Form of Ballot Paper: Question in referendum as specified in Schedule 1

  • Corresponding Number List M1

  • Corresponding Number List M2

  • Form of Postal Voting Statement (for use where there is joint issue and receipt of postal ballot papers)

  • Form of Postal Voting Statement (for use when a referendum poll is combined with another poll but the postal ballot papers are not combined)

  • Official Poll Card (to be sent to a voter voting in person)

  • Official Postal Poll Card (to be sent to a voter voting by post)

  • Official Proxy Poll Card (to be sent to an appointed proxy voting in person)

  • Official Proxy Postal Poll Card (to be sent to an appointed proxy voting by post)

  • Form of directions for the guidance of the voters and proxies in voting

  • Form of Certificate of Employment

  • Form of declaration to be made by the companion of a voter or proxy with disabilities

Regulation 20

SCHEDULE 6Application, with modifications, of the Representation of the People Act 1983 in relation to referendum petitions

(1) Provision(2) Modifications
Section 128 (presentation of petition questioning local election)(143)

In subsection (1)—

(a)

for “under the local government Act” substitute “under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums)(Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”, and

(b)

omit “either” and the words from “, or by a person” to the end.

After subsection (1B) insert—

(1C) In the case where two or more referendums are held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year, a petition questioning the referendum under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums)(Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 may be presented by four or more persons who voted at those referendums or any one of those referendums, or had a right so to vote.

For subsection (2) substitute—

(2) Any counting officer or Chief Counting Officer of whose conduct the petition complains may be made a respondent to the petition.

In subsection (4) for “the proper officer of the authority for which the election was held” substitute “the authority in respect of which the referendum was held”.

Section 129 (time for presentation or amendment of petition questioning local election)

In subsection (1) for “under the local government Act” substitute “under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

In subsection (2)(b) for “a candidate elected at the election” substitute “any person”.

In subsection (3)(b) for “the candidate elected at the election, or by an agent of the candidate or with the privity of the candidate or his election agent” substitute “any person”.

Omit subsections (4) and (5).

For subsection (7) substitute—

(7) Subsections (3) and (6) apply notwithstanding that the act constituting the alleged illegal practice amounted to a corrupt practice.

Omit subsection (9).

Section 130 (election court for local election in England and Wales, and place of trial)(144)

In subsection (1) for “and Wales under the local government Act” substitute “under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

In subsection (2)(b) for “local government” substitute “voting”.

In subsection (3)(a) for “and Wales under the local government Act” substitute “under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

In subsection (7) for “local government” substitute “voting”.

Section 131 (accommodation of and attendance on court)

In subsection (1)—

(a)

for the words from the beginning to “the election” substitute “the authority in respect of which the referendum”, and

(b)

for “him” substitute “that authority”.

Section 132 (remuneration and allowances)
Section 133 (repayments under section 131 and 132)In subsection (1)(a) omit the words “the proper officer of”.
Section 136 (security for costs)(145)In subsection (2)(b) for “petition questioning an election under the local government Act” substitute “referendum petition within the meaning of regulation 20 of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.
Section 137 (petition at issue)(146)
Section 138 (list of petitions)(147)

In subsection (1)(a) for “all election petitions” substitute “all referendum petitions within the meaning of regulation 20 of the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”.

In subsection (3) for the words from the beginning to “candidates” substitute “Two or more persons”.

In subsection (4)—

(a)

for “the same election or to elections under the local government Act” substitute “the same referendum or referendums under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012”,

(b)

for “local government” substitute “voting”, and

(c)

for “the election list”, in both places, substitute “the list made out under subsection (1)”.

Section 139 (trial of petition)

In subsection (1) omit “, in the case of a parliamentary election petition, 14 days and in any other case,”.

Omit subsections (3) and (4).

For subsection (5) substitute—

(5) On the trial of a petition, the respondent may give evidence in the same manner as if he or she had presented a petition against the referendum.

Omit subsection (6).

Section 140 (witnesses)(148)
Section 141 (duty to answer relevant questions)(149)
Section 143 (expenses of witnesses)
Section 145 (conclusion of trial of local election petition)(150)

For subsection (1) substitute—

(1) At the conclusion of the trial of a petition questioning a referendum under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012 the election court is to determine—

(a)in the case of a petition presented on the ground mentioned in regulation 20(1)(a) of those Regulations, whether the result of the referendum was or was not in accordance with the votes cast in the referendum,

(b)in the case of a petition presented on the ground mentioned in regulation 20(1)(b) or (c) of those Regulations, whether the referendum was void.

(1A) Following a determination under subsection (1)(a), the election court must, as the circumstances require, confirm or reverse the result of the referendum.

In subsection (3)—

(a)

for “sections 158 and” substitute “section”, and

(b)

for the words from “for which” to the end substitute “in respect of which the referendum was held”.

In subsection (6) from “the proper officer” to the end substitute “the authority in respect of which the referendum was held”.

Section 146 (special case for determination of High Court)

Omit subsection (2).

In subsection (3) for the words from the beginning to “local government Act” substitute—

(3) In the case of a referendum petition under the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012,.

Section 147 (withdrawal of petition)In subsection (2) for “local government” substitute “voting”.
Section 154 (costs of petition)
Section 155 (neglect or refusal to pay costs)
Section 156 (further provision as to costs)(151)
Section 157 (appeals and jurisdiction)(152)Omit subsection (4).
Section 160(1) and (3) (persons reported personally guilty of corrupt practices)(153)Omit subsection (1)(b).
Section 161 (Justices of the Peace)(154)
Section 162 (member of legal and certain other professions)
Section 163 (holder of licence or certificate under Licensing Acts)(155)
Section 164(1) and (2) (avoidance of election for general corruption etc)

In subsection (1)—

(a)

for “the election of any person at that election” substitute “a particular outcome in relation to the question asked in the referendum”, and

(b)

for paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute “, the referendum, if that outcome was achieved, is void”.

In subsection (2) for “An election” substitute “A referendum”.

Section 167 (application for relief)(156)
Section 180 (evidence by certificate of holding of election)Omit sub-paragraph (ii) and the word immediately preceding it.
Section 183 (costs)(157)
Section 184 (service of notices)(158)
Section 185 (interpretation of Part 3)(159)

Regulation 20

SCHEDULE 7Modifications of the Election Petition Rules 1960

(1) Provision modified(2) Modification
Rule 2(2)(160)

After the definition of “the Act” insert—

“the 2012 Regulations” means the Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Council Tax Increases) (England) Regulations 2012;.

After the definition of “local election petition” insert—

“referendum petition” means a petition under the 2012 Regulations;.

In the definition of “petition” insert at the end “or a referendum petition”.

For the definition of “constituency” substitute—

“constituency” in relation to—

(a)

a local election petition, means the local government area to which the petition relates;

(b)

a referendum petition, means the voting area of the referendum;.

After the definition of “returning officer” insert “and, in relation to a referendum petition, any reference to a provision of the Act must be construed as a reference to that provision as applied by the 2012 Regulations.”

Rule 2(3)(161)After “local government Act” insert “and referendums under the 2012 Regulations”.
Rule 4(1)(162)

Omit sub-paragraph (a).

For sub-paragraph (b) substitute—

(b)the date and result of the referendum to which the petition relates;.

In sub-paragraph (c) for the words from “petition” to “the Act” substitute “referendum petition”.

Rule 10(163)Omit.
Rule 12(3)(164)For “the election” substitute “the referendum”.
Rule 14(2)(165)For “the election may” substitute “the referendum may”.
Rule 16(3)(166)For “the election may” substitute “the referendum may”.
Rule 18(167)After “local election petition” insert “or a referendum petition”.
The Schedule(168)

For “a Parliamentary (or Local Government) Election for (state place) ........” substitute “a referendum in (state area)”.

In paragraph 1—

(a)

for “election”, in the first place where that word occurs, substitute “referendum”,

(b)

for “(or was a candidate at the above election) (or in the case of a parliamentary election claims to have had a right to be elected or returned at the above election)” substitute “[(or where two or more referendums are held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year) a person who voted or had a right to vote at the above referendum or any other referendum held in respect of the same precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year]”.

For paragraph 2 substitute—

That referendum was held on the [insert day] day of [insert month] [insert year].

In paragraph 4 omit “in the case of a petition mentioned in section 122(2) or (3) or”.

For paragraph (1) of the Prayer substitute—

(1) That it may be determined [that the result of the referendum was not in accordance with the votes cast]* [that the referendum is avoided]*.

* Include or omit as the circumstances require.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order)

These Regulations make provision for the conduct of referendums held under Chapter 4ZA of Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (“the 1992 Act”). These Regulations only apply in relation to England. The referendums will relate to the question of whether a council tax increase set by an authority – a billing authority, a major precepting authority, or a local precepting authority – for a financial year is approved of.

Regulation 3 and Schedule 1 prescribe the form of words of the question to be asked in a referendum.

Regulation 4 requires a billing authority, and Regulation 5 requires a precepting authority (other than the Greater London Authority), that has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive under section 52ZB of the 1992 Act, to fulfil certain publicity requirements relating to the referendum and imposes time limits by which notice must be given. Regulation 6 imposes similar publicity requirements where the Greater London Authority has determined, under section 52ZB(3) of the 1992 Act, that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive.

Regulation 7 sets out the further information that must be published in connection with a referendum, not fewer than 28 days before the date it is held, by an authority that has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a financial year is excessive.

Regulation 8 sets out the formula to be applied by a local precepting authority to calculate the council tax applicable to dwellings listed in different valuation bands. The amount calculated using the formula is to be provided in the statement that a local precepting authority has to provide under regulation 7 when it has determined that its relevant basic amount of council tax for a year is excessive.

Regulation 9 requires a billing authority that is required to make arrangements to hold the referendum by virtue of section 52ZG or 52ZN of the 1992 Act to provide a precepting authority with such information as it may reasonably require in exercising its functions under these Regulations.

Regulation 10 imposes restrictions on the material that may be published by or on behalf of an authority in the period beginning on the date on which an authority determines that its relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year is excessive under section 52ZB of the 1992 Act and ending on the date of the referendum.

Regulation 11 permits an authority to publish a statement explaining the reasons for the authority’s council tax increase; and the consequences if the authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the relevant financial year is not approved. This statement must be published on or after the date on which the notice required to be published by regulation 4, 5 or 6 (as the case may be) is published, but not fewer than 28 days before the date on which the referendum will be held.

Regulation 12 imposes a referendum expenses limit on the amount that may be incurred by way of referendum expenses. Schedule 2 makes provision about the matters relevant to referendum expenses. Under Regulation 12(3) there is an offence for expenditure in excess of the referendum expenses limit.

Regulation 13 provides for amounts relevant to the use of certain property, services and facilities to be treated as incurred by way of referendum expenses for the purposes of regulation 12.

Regulation 14 provides that a referendum is to be conducted in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act Referendums Rules (as contained in Schedule 3 to these Regulations), unless the poll at the referendum is taken together with the poll at a relevant election or referendum. Other electoral legislation is applied, with modifications, to facilitate the conduct of referendums (as set out in Tables 1 to 6 of Schedule 4).

Regulation 15 specifies who is to be the counting officer at the referendum.

Regulation 16 requires a precepting authority, where two or more referendums are held in respect of its relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year, to appoint a Chief Counting Officer in relation to those referendums, whom may give directions to a counting officer.

Regulation 17 makes provision for the combination of polls in general. It also specifically makes provision regarding the combination of polls where a billing authority is required to make arrangements to hold two or more referendums in respect of amounts calculated by authorities in relation to the same financial year, and regarding where two or more referendums are required to be held in respect of a precepting authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for a relevant financial year.

Regulation 18 makes provision for the conduct of referendums when combined with the poll at elections or other referendums. The rules for conducting such referendums are again set out in full (the Local Government Finance Act Referendums (Combination of Polls) Rules), in Schedule 5. Other electoral legislation is applied to facilitate the conduct of such referendums.

Regulation 19 makes provision about the conduct of elections when they are combined with the poll at a referendum. Other electoral legislation is applied to facilitate the conduct of such elections.

Regulation 20 makes provision for a referendum to be challenged by the bringing of a referendum petition. The provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c 2) contained in Schedule 6 are applied with modifications to facilitate the bringing of a referendum petition to challenge a referendum. Schedule 7 makes modifications to the Election Petition Rules 1960, when applied to referendums by regulation 20(10).

Regulations 21 and 22 address the immediate consequences of the bringing of a referendum petition (as to whether the authority’s calculations from which the relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year was derived continue to have effect) and how a referendum petition is to be determined.

Regulation 23 provides for certain days to be ignored in computing certain periods of time for the purposes of regulations 4 to 7 and 11.

Regulation 24 exempts advertisements relating specifically to the referendum from regulations under the Town and County Planning Act 1990 (c 8) controlling the display of advertisements.

Regulation 25 provides that premises used in relation to the referendum for public meetings or the taking of the poll are to be treated as unoccupied for rating purposes.

Regulation 26 provides for how these Regulations should apply where an authority calculates basic amounts of council tax for its predecessor areas under Part 4 (Equalisation of Council Tax) of the Local Government (Structural Changes) (Finance) Regulations 2008.

Regulation 27 makes transitional provision for the financial year beginning on 1st April 2012 in relation to references in the Regulations to an authority’s relevant basic amount of council tax for the financial year preceding the relevant financial year. This is because for the financial year 2011-12 authorities will have calculated their council tax under the provisions of the 1992 Act as they existed before amendments were made by the Localism Act 2011.

A full impact assessment has not been produced for these Regulations as no impact on the private or voluntary sectors is foreseen.

(1)

1992 c.14. Section 52ZQ was inserted into the Local Government Finance Act 1992 by Schedule 5 to the Localism Act 2011 (c. 20) and section 113 was amended by paragraph 32 of Schedule 6 to that Act.

(11)

S.I. 2004/294; amended by SI 2006/3278

(12)

1985 c.50; the definitions were amended by section 3 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1986 (c. 58) in consequence of the European Assembly being renamed the European Parliament.

(13)

1999 c.29. Section 89(2) was amended by Article 2 and paragraphs 1 and 6 of SI 2000/1435.

(14)

See section 52ZX(4)(a) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for the meaning of “unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax”. Section 52ZX was inserted into the Local Government Finance Act 1992 by Schedule 5 to the Localism Act 2011 (c. 20).

(15)

See section 52ZX(4)(b) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for the meaning of “adjusted relevant basic amount of council tax”. Section 52ZX was inserted into the Local Government Finance Act 1992 by Schedule 5 to the Localism Act 2011 (c. 20).

(16)

See section 52ZR(8) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for the meaning of “constituent body”. Section 52ZR was inserted into the Local Government Finance Act 1992 by Schedule 5 to the Localism Act 2011 (c. 20).

(18)

1990 c 42. Section 201, containing the definition of programme service, was amended by section 360 of and Schedule 19 to the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21).

(20)

2002, c. 24. Section 1 was substituted by section 1 of the European Parliament (Representation) Act 2003 (c.7). Amendments were made by section 16 of the European Union Act 2011 (c.12). Substitutions were made by S.I. 2004/366 and S.I. 2008/1954.

(22)

1972, c. 70; section 89 was amended by paragraph 13 of Schedule 8 to the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2), section 19 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and Schedule 17 to the Local Government Act 1985 (c. 51).

(23)

2000, c. 2. Schedule 4 was amended by paragraph 164 of Schedule 27 to the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 (c. 33), and sections 5, 14, 35 and 38 of, and paragraphs 19, 20 and 137 of Schedule 1 to, the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(25)

1975 c.80.

(26)

S.I. 1992/666; as amended by paragraph 233 of Schedule 22 to the Environment Act 1995 (c. 25) and S.I. 1994/2351, 1996/525, 1997/1810, 2001/1149, 2001/4050, 2003/2155 and 2005/3050.

(27)

1988 c 41, to which there have been no relevant amendments.

(28)

Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 was inserted by section 74 of the Localism Act 2011(c.20).

(29)

S.I. 1992/612; relevant amending instruments are S.I 2003/3012 and 2003/3181.

(30)

1996 c.56.

(31)

See the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 S.I. 2001/341 (amended by SI 2001/1700, 2002/1871, 2004/226, 2006/752 and 2006/2910).

(32)

Section 13B of the 1983 Act was inserted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c. 2) and amended by section 11(3) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22). Subsections (3B) and (3D) of section 13B were inserted by section 11(4) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(33)

Subsections (1), (2) and (3) of section 66 of the 1983 Act were amended by paragraphs 69, 82, 86(b) and 96 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c.22); subsection (6) was amended by paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the Representation of the People Act1985 (c.50).

(34)

See regulation 84A of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 S.I. 2001/341 as amended by S.I. 2006/2910.

(35)

As amended by section 11(4) of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 (c.1).

(36)

As amended by paragraph 71 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c.50).

(37)

1983 c.2.

(38)

As amended by paragraph 12 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c.50) and paragraph 6 of Schedule 21 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(39)

As amended by paragraph 14 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(40)

1983 c2.

(41)

The existing section 13B was substituted (together with sections 13 and 13A) for section 13 as originally enacted by paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 ( c. 2); section 13B was amended by section 11 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 41).

(42)

Section 31 was amended by Schedule 17 to the Local Government Act 1985 (c. 50), paragraph 2 of Schedule 3 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (c.29) and paragraph 108 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(43)

Subsection 4 was amended by Schedule 17 to the Local Government Act 1985 (c. 51).

(44)

Section 47 was amended by S.I. 1991/1728 and paragraph 6 of Schedule 21 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(45)

Subsection (4A) was inserted by paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22); subsection 5 was substituted by S.I. 1995/1948 and amended by paragraph 12 of Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c. 2).

(46)

Section 61 was amended by paragraph 2 of Schedule 2, and Schedule 5, to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50), paragraph 10 of Schedule 3 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (c. 29), paragraph 83 of Schedule 27 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33) and section 38(3) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(47)

Section 62A was inserted by section 40 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(48)

The existing section 63 was substituted by paragraph 19 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and amended by S.I. 2001/1149, sections 7, 41(8) and 46(6) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22) and sections 25(a) and 39 of and Schedule 7 to the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 (c. 12).

(49)

Section 65 was amended by paragraph 2 of Schedule 3 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (. 50) and paragraphs 72 and 96 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(50)

Section 66 was amended by paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50), paragraph 11 of Schedule 3 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (c. 29) and paragraphs 82, 86 and 96 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(51)

Section 66A was inserted by paragraphs 3 and 6 of Schedule 6 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c. 2).

(52)

Section 92 was amended by paragraph 35 of Schedule 20 to the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c.42) and paragraph 61 of Schedule17 to the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21).

(53)

Section 94 was amended by paragraph 36 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(54)

The existing section 96 was substituted for section 96 as originally enacted by paragraph 38 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and amended by paragraph 11 of Schedule 30 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (c. 31) and paragraph 29 of Schedule 3 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (c. 29).

(55)

Section 97 was amended by paragraph 39 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and Part 1 of Schedule 7 to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60).

(56)

Subsection (2) was amended by paragraph 5 of Schedule 3 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(57)

The existing section 110 was substituted for section 110 as originally enacted by paragraph 14 of Schedule 18 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(58)

Section 113 was amended by paragraph 30 of Schedule 3 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (c. 29).

(59)

Section 115 was amended by section 39(1) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(60)

Section 118 was amended by paragraph 43 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50), section 135 of and paragraph 15 of Schedule 18 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) and paragraphs 119 and 133 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(61)

Section 119 was amended by section 19(4) of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraph 49 and 51(1) of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(62)

Section 167 was amended by paragraph 56 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraph 18 of Schedule 18 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(63)

Section 168 was amended by paragraph 8 of Schedule 3 and paragraph 57 of Schedule 5 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraph 121 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(64)

Section 169 was amended by paragraph 9 of Schedule 3 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(65)

The existing section 173 was substituted for section 173 as originally enacted by section 136 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(66)

Section 174 was amended by paragraph 18 of Schedule 18 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(67)

Section 175 was amended by paragraph 10 of Schedule 3 to Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraph 6 of Schedule 21 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(68)

The existing section 178 was substituted for section 178 as originally enacted by paragraph 62 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(69)

Subsection (1) was amended by paragraph 63 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(70)

Section 185 was amended by paragraph 10 of Schedule 17 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) and paragraphs 86 and 87 of Schedule 6 to the Licensing Act 2003 (c. 17).

(71)

Section 199B was inserted by section 36 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(72)

Subsection (1A) together with existing subsection (1) were substituted for subsection (1) as originally enacted by paragraph 68 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(73)

Section 202 was amended by Part 1 of Schedule 2 and paragraph 70 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50), the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1983 (c. 50), S.I. 1995/1948, the Schedule to the Law Officers Act 1997 (c. 60), paragraph 38 of Schedule 3 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (c. 29), paragraph 22 of Schedule 1 and paragraphs 3 and 9 of Schedule 6 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c. 2), paragraph 19 of Schedule 18 and paragraph 6 of Schedule 21 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (c.41), SI 2001/1149 and section 73 and paragraphs 13, 76 and 128 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(74)

1985 c.50.

(75)

The European Assembly to which section 15 as originally enacted referred was renamed the European Parliament by section 3 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1986 (c. 58); section 15 was amended by paragraph 7 of Schedule 7 to the Local Government Act 2003 (c. 26) and section 3(2) of the Elections Act 2001 (c. 7).

(76)

2000 c 2.

(77)

Section 10 was amended by paragraph 16 of Schedule 21 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(78)

Schedule 4 was amended by paragraph 164 of Schedule 27 to the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 (c 33), and section 5, 14, 35 and 38 of, and paragraphs 19, 20 and 137 of Schedule 1 to, the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(79)

2000 c 41. All provisions mentioned in this table were inserted by section 29 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c.22).

(81)

SI 2001/341; as amended by SI 2001/1700, 2002/1871, 2004/226, 2005/2114, 2006/752, 2006/1694, 2006/2910, 2007/1025, 2008/1901/ 2009/1182, 2010/231/2010/882, 2011/2085 and by paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 to the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (c. 28) and Part 3 of Schedule 4 to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 (c. 1).

(82)

As amended by SI 2001/1700, 2002/1871 and 2006/2910.

(83)

As amended by SI 2006/2910.

(84)

As amended by SI 2002/1871 and 2006/2910.

(85)

As amended by SI 2006/2910.

(86)

As amended by SI 2006/2910.

(87)

As amended by SI 2006/752 and 2006/2910.

(88)

Inserted by SI 2006/752 and amended by SI 2006/2910.

(89)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910.

(90)

Inserted by SI 2006/752 and amended by SI 2006/2910.

(91)

Substituted by S.I. 2006/752 and amended by SI 2006/2910.

(92)

Amended by SI 2006/752 and 2006/2910.

(93)

Amended by SI 2006/752 and 2006/2910.

(94)

Inserted by 2006/2910.

(95)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(96)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(97)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(98)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(99)

Amended by SI 2002/1871, 2006/752 and 2006/2910.

(100)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(101)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(102)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(103)

Amended by SI 2006/752 and 2006/2910.

(104)

Amended by SI 2006/752 and 2006/2910.

(105)

Amended by SI 2006/752 and SI 2006/2910.

(106)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(107)

Amended by SI 2006/2910.

(108)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910.

(109)

Amended by SI 2002/1871 and 2006/2910.

(110)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910.

(111)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910.

(112)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910.

(113)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910.

(114)

Amended by SI 2006/752 and 2006/2910.

(115)

Inserted by SI 2002/1871 and amended by SI 2006/2910 and SI 2006/752.

(116)

Inserted by SI 2002/1871 and amended by SI 2006/2910.

(117)

Inserted by SI 2002/1871 and amended by SI 2006/2910.

(118)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910 and amended by SI 2008/1901.

(119)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910 and amended by paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 to the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

(120)

Inserted by SI 2006/2910 and amended by paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 to the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

(121)

Amended by SI 2005/2114.

(123)

Amended by SI 2006/3278.

(124)

S.I. 2004/293 as amended by SI 2005/2114, 2009/848, 2009/2054, 2010/1172, 2011/2085, 2011/2581 and section 59(1) and (4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.

(125)

S.I. 2006/3304 as amended by SI 2010/1172 and 2011/563.

(126)

S.I. 2006/3305 as amended by SI 2010/1172 and 2011/562.

(127)

S.I. 2007/3841 as amended by SI 2010/1172.

(129)

S.I. 2004/294; as amended by SI 2006/3278.

(130)

1996 c.56.

(131)

For the meaning of “parliamentary constituency”, see section 1 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (c. 56).

(132)

See the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 S.I. 2001/341 as amended by SI 2002/1871, 2006/752 and SI 2006/2910.

(133)

Section 13B of the 1983 Act was inserted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c. 2) and amended by section 11(3) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22). Subsections (3B) and (3D) of section 13B were inserted by section 11(4) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(136)

Subsections (1), (2) and (3) of section 66 of the 1983 Act were amended by paragraphs 69, 82, 86(b) and 96 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22); subsection (6) was amended by paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(137)

See regulation 84A of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 S.I. 2001/341 as amended by S.I. 2006/2910.

(138)

Sections 6A to 6F of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c.41) were inserted by section 29 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(139)

Section 13B of the 1983 Act was inserted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c. 2) and amended by section 11(3) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22). Subsections (3B) and (3D) of section 13B were inserted by section 11(4) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(141)

See Regulations 85 and 85A of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/341), which were inserted by S.I. 2006/2910.

(142)

For the meaning of “parliamentary constituency”, see section 1 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (c. 56).

(143)

1983, c2; section 128 was amended by paragraph 12 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22).

(144)

Section 130 was amended by paragraph 50 of Schedule 10 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41), paragraph 2 of Schedule 17 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) and paragraph 14 of Schedule 10 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (C. 7).

(145)

Section 136 was amended by paragraph 48 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraph 19 of Schedule 18 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(146)

The existing section 137 was substituted for section 137 as originally enacted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 17 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(147)

Section 138 was amended by paragraph 4 of Schedule 17 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

(148)

Section 140 was amended by paragraph 49 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(149)

Section 141 was amended by paragraph 50 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraph 84 of Schedule 27 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33).

(150)

Section 145 was amended by paragraph 33 of Schedule 3 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (c. 29).

(151)

Section 156 was amended by paragraph 51 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraphs 48 and 50 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29).

(152)

Section 157 was amended by paragraph 6 of Schedule 17 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) and paragraph 28 of Schedule 11 to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 5).

(153)

Subsection (1) was amended by paragraph 52 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50), and the present subsection (3) was substituted for subsection (3) as originally enacted by that paragraph.

(154)

Section 161 was amended by paragraph 53 of Schedule 4 and Schedule 5 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 c.50) and paragraph 149 of Schedule 4 to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 5).

(155)

Section 163 was amended by paragraph 55 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50).

(156)

Section 167 was amended by paragraph 56 of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) and paragraph 18 of Schedule 18 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Acts 2000 (c. 41).

(157)

Section 183 was amended by paragraph 28 of Schedule 11 to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 5).

(158)

Section 184 was amended by paragraph 19 of Schedule 18 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41), SI 2001/1149 and paragraphs 116 and 118 of Schedule 12 to the Postal Services Act 2011 (c. 5).

(159)

Section 185 was amended by paragraph 10 of Schedule 17 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) and paragraphs 86 and 87 of Schedule 6 to the Licensing Act 2003 (c. 17).

(160)

Amended by S.I. 1985/1278.

(161)

Amended by S.I. 1985/1278.

(162)

Amended by S.I. 1985/1248.

(163)

Amended by S.I. 1985/1278.

(164)

Amended by S.I. 1999/1352.

(165)

Amended by S.I. 1999/1352.

(166)

Amended by S.I. 1999/1352.

(167)

Amended by S.I. 1985/1278.

(168)

Amended by S.I. 1985/1352.

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