Waveney District Council

Mayoral petitions

Petitioning for an elected Mayor

You can petition your council to hold a referendum on whether local people should elect a mayor to lead the council and the community it serves.

What is our current arrangement?

For each local authority there is an executive - a group of people who are in charge of what the Council does. Depending on the local arrangements, the executive is organised in one of three ways:

  • a directly elected mayor and a cabinet of councillors; or
  • a leader elected by the council and a cabinet of councillors; or
  • a directly elected mayor and a council manager appointed by the council.

In Waveney, we follow the second option of a leader elected by the council, and a cabinet of councillors.

What is a directly elected mayor?

A directly elected mayor is elected by all the voters in the council's area to be the head of the council's decision-making body.

A directly elected mayor should not be confused with a ceremonial mayor. In many local authority areas a ceremonial mayor represents the area. In Waveney we have a ceremonial mayor for the Lowestoft area. 

Why is a referendum necessary?

The introduction of a directly elected mayor is a significant constitutional change and so a vote is held to give all voters in the area the chance to choose if they would want this happen.

In order to call a referendum for a directly elected mayor, a petition must be compiled which is signed by 5% of the number of local government electors that are shown in the current Register of Electors. This 5% figure is called the 'verification figure' and is published annually as a formal notice.

Further information about mayoral petitions can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website.

Contact us

Telephone: 01502 562111

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