Boundary Referendum

Costs of the Boundary Referendum

WITH some costs still to come in, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has released the first information about how much the Boundary Referendum that took place in September 2014 actually cost.

To date £
Inlogov – questions  1,217
Printing  15,529
Royal Mail  16,935
Sundry 2,511
Total 36,192
Signs on council buildings

Signs on council buildings

The following items still have to come in; the rest of the charges from Royal Mail to cover the return of ballot forms – based on a 75% turnout and assuming that the majority returned by post (in actual fact some hand-delivered their ballots to customer service centres and other ballot boxes) then we can estimate a figure of around £12,700.

The council itself estimates a figure of £8,000 for the costs of the erection of signs on council buildings and at other places.

So we can probably safely say that the actual costs of the Boundary Referendum were less than £56,800.

A full record of the number of Council staff who worked on the Boundary Referendum is not held by the council as a number of officers carried out work as part of their normal duties. A record however was kept of the number of staff involved in the opening of postal votes and those appointed as counters.

Postal Vote opening – 80 staff
Counters – 54 staff.

No reports have been produced by the East Riding Council to date highlighting the success or otherwise of the Boundary Referendum exercise. However, *‘Hands Off!’ campaign chairman, and East Riding Councillor John Dennis seconded the motion at a full council meeting on October 9th 2014 acknowledging and thanking residents in the 12 affected areas for taking part:

“Not only did we attract a massive 96% ‘No-No’ Vote, but to me, an even more impressive 75% turnout of registered electors. That was an unprecedented response, way beyond even my expectations… Over 50,000 East Riding people can’t all be wrong!”

So with the costs of the costs of the Boundary Referendum from public funds becoming known – we ask the question: Is the price of democracy worth it in this matter?

* Note: The “Hands Off!” campaign funds were raised by the campaigners themselves, although some parish councils did contribute funds. We hope that the campaign will publish its own fundraising accounts too as part of this ‘price of democracy’ investigation.

The Hedon Blog will also seek to discover the costs of Hull City Council’s Commission of Inquiry into Hull’s future development and its boundary deliberations.

3 replies »

  1. I don’t mind the cost of running elections, that is a small price for democracy. But there was no point in having this referendum. There is no proposal to respond to, other than the scare story put up by the East Riding Tories.
    When there is a proposal, THEN we should consult people. So this has been a waste of tax payers money, as we will need to repeat the process in the future.

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  2. Very happy to oblige Ray.
    Total Funds collected £1,507.12
    Total Expenditure £1,499.26
    Balance remaining £ 7.86.
    Income was partly from Town and Parish Councils, partly from councillors having a whip-round, or individual campaign group member donations..
    The money was spent as follows
    8′ x 2′ banners £690.72
    A3 and A4 posters £141.00
    Flyers £667.40
    Total £1499.26
    Just by way of further comment, there are around 40,000 households in the area covered, so the campaign cost per household was therefore just 4 pence. – or around 2p per voter. Money well spent I think!. (and 50,000 East Riding people would appear to agree)
    i hope this is helpful.
    John

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