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Session 1997-98
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Local Government Boundary Changes (Referendum) Bill




Provide for the holding of referendums on proposals of the Local Government Commission for England to change local government boundaries; to make the results of such referendums binding; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Referendums on proposals of the Local Government Commission for England.     1. - (1) Where the Local Government Commission for England ("the Commission") has recommended to the Secretary of State electoral changes in a principal area in England the Secretary of State may determine that a referendum shall be held on the recommendations.
      (2) The Secretary of State shall make a determination under subsection (1) where he is satisfied (whether as a result of a petition by those affected or otherwise) that either-
    (a) not fewer than 20,000 electors in any local government area or parliamentary constituency affected by the recommendations, or
    (b) not fewer than half of the electors in that area or that constituency
  are in favour of a referendum on the recommendations.
      (3) The Secretary of State may if he sees fit divide the Commission's recommendations for changes in a principal area into a number of propositions to be voted on in a referendum.
      (4) The propositions and the ballot papers to be used for a referendum shall be in a form which the Secretary of State shall determine.
      (5) Those entitled to vote in a referendum shall be the persons who, on the date of the referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors at a local government election in the principal area concerned.
Counting officers.     2. - (1) The Secretary of State shall appoint a counting officer for each referendum held under section 1.
      (2) A counting officer appointed under subsection (1) above shall-
    (a) conduct the counting of votes in the area for which he is appointed in accordance with any directions given by the Secretary of State, and
    (b) certify the number of ballot papers counted by him and the number of votes cast for each proposition.
      (3) The council for any local government area in England shall place the services of its officers at the disposal of any person who is acting as counting officer in relation to that local government area.
Exclusion of legal proceedings.     3. No court shall entertain any proceedings for questioning the number of ballot papers counted or votes cast as certified by a counting officer appointed in accordance with section 2.
Grants and expenditure.     4. - (1) The Secretary of State may, with the consent of the Treasury, pay any local authority in England grants of such amounts as he may determine in respect of expenditure incurred (or to be incurred) by them in connection with a referendum held under this Act.
      (2) Any expenditure of the Secretary of State in connection with a referendum held by virtue of this Act shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament.
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