Select Committee on Public Administration Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by the National Association of Local Councils

  Further to our conversation this morning please find enclosed a number of documents the National Association has produced in the last year relating to parish polls[12], and in particular regarding the recent bid by the Campaign Alliance for Referenda in Parishes (CARP) to use parish polls to spark a national debate on the Euro.

  The National Association recognises the important role that parish polls play in empowering the public and giving a voice to groups within a local community. However we are concerned that current legislation allows a very small number of people to impose a considerable expense on the electorate without having to show that they have support in the wider community.

  NALC would like to see the legislation changed to remove the proviso that allows a poll to be demanded by not less than 10 or one third of the local government electors present at the meeting, "whichever is the less". Instead we would prefer that a set proportion of the electorate or a proportion of electors present at the meeting only would be able to demand a poll.

  If you have any comments or queries, or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sarah Thomas

Policy Officer

9 October 2000

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