There is less than a fortnight to go for Croydon residents to register to vote ahead of this October’s referendum on the council’s governance arrangements.
On 7 October voters will be asked: How would you like the London Borough of Croydon to be run?
• By a leader who is an elected councillor chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors. This is how the council is run now.
• By a mayor who is elected by voters. This would be a change from how the council is run now.
The council is urging anyone who is eligible to vote but is not on the electoral register to sign up here by midnight on Tuesday 21 September. You must be registered to vote by this date in order to take part in the referendum.
The decision to hold a referendum on Croydon’s governance arrangements was agreed at an Extraordinary Council Meeting in February. Croydon has had a ‘leader and cabinet’ model since 2001, when the Local Government Act 2000 required most councils to change from a committee system.
By law the council can only offer two referendum options, one of which must include the existing governance model.
Poll cards are being delivered from next week onwards. These are for information purposes, and residents do not need to take them to vote at their polling station.
Polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday 7 October. Information on your nearest polling station will be available on the council website in the next week. While there is no longer a requirement to wear face coverings in polling stations, voters will be encouraged to do so, and to maintain appropriate social distancing.
Registered voters can choose to vote by post instead of going in person. Most postal votes will be sent out by Royal Mail first-class delivery from around Wednesday 15 September, with further dispatches for late postal vote applicants.
Completed postal votes must be returned by 10pm on Thursday 7 October. For registered voters wishing to do so by post, or to change or cancel an existing postal or proxy voting arrangement, the deadline is 5pm on 22 September.
Voters can apply to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf. The deadline for new proxy vote applications is 5pm on Wednesday 29 September. Voters can apply for an emergency proxy after 29 September but before 5pm on Thursday 7 October if they cannot attend their polling station because of work or illness – this includes anyone required to isolate due to Covid.
Application forms for postal and proxy votes can be downloaded from www.croydon.gov.uk/referendum and completed forms can be posted or emailed to: email@example.com. Forms must be received by the relevant deadline.
Votes will be counted after the polls close at 10pm on Thursday 7 October, and the result will appear on the council’s website shortly after it is declared.