Confirmation in the comments on my previous post that The Referendum Campaign have the required number of signatures to trigger a poll.
I've been working under the assumption that it was the lack of enthusiasm for the idea of dumping our ceremonial Mayor and their own disorganisation that explained why it was taking them so long to get the names together. I wonder if there isn't another explanation, however...
Once the referendum has been handed in, as I understand it, the timetable starts immediately which leads in 6 months time to a Borough-wide ballot. That time will be needed to check the names, for a draft constitutuion to be agreed by the Council to be put to the electorate, and for the publicity to be sent out informing the public of the choice before them. Given that everyone's attention will be on the local elections running up to May, that time will be needed in full.
That means any referendum will probably be held in ... mid-August! Easily the worst time of the year for a poll of this importance, and almost guaranteed to have a crashingly-low turnout. Given the obvious lack of enthusiasm for an elected Mayor amongst the population, I wonder if the campaign organisers think that a very low turnout isn't their best chance of slipping their proposal through?
If the Referendum campaigners think that their cause is genuinely popular, they'll hold off submitting their names until mid-March, thereby allowing a September poll when many more people will be able to vote. The decision they take will be very illuminating.