Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mayoral Petition falls SHORT...

...but the Referendum is likely to go ahead.

After a whole 12 months, the Mayoral Referendum campaign organisers handed in the petition, boasting that with over 4,700 names, they had easily crossed the finishing line of 3,808 signatures.

It's just been announced, however, that in fact they fell short by 79 names. The petition is therefore invalid. Whether or not to allow the Referendum to go ahead will be a decision for a specially-convened Council meeting, with there being the option for the Council to apply voluntarily for a Referendum to be held.

At the meeting, I understand that Cllr. John Williams will be urging all sides of Council to ask the Secretary of State that a Referendum be held. Labour Councillors will have a free vote on the issue, and I would hope that the other parties adopt the same position. Party politics shouldn't come into this.

It's astonishing that with a former DBC Chief Exective as one of their organisers, the Referendum campaigners still managed to cock-up the process, with so many names disbarred. Now at least Council will have the final say, and hopefully a sensible date set for the poll, probably 27 September 2007.

The organisers still seem some way short of being able to run that whelk stall...

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why hold a referendum? There has been no wish for one demonstrated by the electorate. Why waste so much money on a referendum that people don't want?

mike barker said...

He's not stupid! If all councillors are given a free vote, as Cllr Williams recommends, I reckon they'll vote against a referendum, which will allow Cllr Williams to show his democratic credentials while avoiding having to hold a mayoral election. Sweet!

miketually said...

1 in 5 signatures being bisbarred is pretty good going...

Darlington Councillor said...

Here's how it worked;

No of petition signatures: 4736
No of duplicate names: 246
No of names not found
on the register: 561
Name or address not legible: 7
First name, or surname, or
no signature: 70

Therefore the petition was 79 signatures short, or 2%.

mike barker said...

I can't get the numbers to add up!

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes:

If you add up all the duplicates, those that aint on the register and the vaguaries and errors it comes to a grant total of 884 marks, crosses, squiggles and signatures. So the petition is invalid and it cannot now proceed to a referendum in my humble opnion.

miketually said...

I get 3852, 44 more than needed.

miketually said...

Alan,

4736-884=3852

3852 is more than 3808

Ian White said...

I agree lets get this sorted NICK!

Darlington Councillor said...

This is what happens when a numerically illiterate person blogs quickly and then disappears off for a few hours - apologies!

I took the figures from the document circulated to all councillors this afternoon. The "winning post" as far as the 5% threshold was concerned was 3887 (and not 3808 as I blogged).

The number of ineligible signatures was indeed 884. 4736 - 884 = 3852 or 35 short. All I can say is that I've done the maths with James' calculator over and over again and can't get a different figure. The bottom line is however, that the threshold wasn't reached.

I'll check this out further in the morning.

Ian White said...

Nick do you not think the 561 excluded was high bearing in mind some people will of moved home and not on the latest electoral register?
You as a council must still have records of where and when people move for your council tax bills, I bet you dont just loose people off that register, surely these records could of been used in the interests of fairness?

Secondly if as you feel in general the people of Darlington dont want a mayor you will presumably be voting for a referendum as you have nothing to fear, when Cllr Williams holds his vote to make him seem benevolant and purley for his own election publicity!

Ian white, townliar.com said...

You say the "the organisers still seem short of running the whelk stall" this maybe down to the fact they were using the template for the pedestrian PHart as an example of how to run things correctly!