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Under the Local Government Act 2000 you have a right to ask for a referendum on changing the way the council is structured. 

Currently we are run by a cabinet of councillors headed by a council leader.  

To change this system of local government, you can submit a petition to us to request a referendum on whether residents should elect a mayor to lead the council and the community it serves. 

What a directly elected mayor is 

A directly elected mayor is elected by voters in our area to be the head of our decision making body. 

A directly elected mayor is not the same as a ceremonial mayor that represents the area. 

How to petition for an elected mayor 

Calling a referendum 

A referendum gives voters in the area a chance to choose if they are happy with a constitutional change. 

To call a referendum for a directly elected mayor a petition must be compiled and signed by 5% of the local government electors. 

If the referendum has a majority vote in favour of an elected mayor, we have to introduce this. 

Organise a petition 

Anyone can organise a petition. The petition organiser is responsible for collecting the required number of signatures and submitting the petition to us.  

We will correspond with the petition organiser once the petition has been submitted. 

To be valid, a submitted petition must: 

  • be signed by at least 5% of people registered to vote at a local government election in South Gloucestershire (this is called the verification number) 
  • follow the regulations on how the petition should be formatted and how signatures should be recorded 

What 5% of electors means 

The 5% figure is known as a verification number. We publish the number of people that equals 5% of those registered to vote at a local government election in our area in February each year. 

The published number from 15 February 2023 is 10,589.

This will be used to determine the validity of petitions presented up to 31 March 2024.  

Between publication of the number and 31 March that same year we can use either the new number or the number published the previous year. 

We must use the lowest number as the verification figure for any petition submitted during this period.  

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