The Local Government Act 2000 provides that electors in the Council's area can petition the Council to hold a referendum on whether a local authority should change to a different form of governance.
Such a petition must be signed by at least 5% of the local government electors in the District. It is a legal requirement that the Returning Officer for each local authority must annually publish the figure which represents 5% of the number of local government electors in the area of the District. This is referred to as the Verification Number.
The Verification Number is published each year during February and is applicable between 1st April and 31st March following publication.
However, in any given year, there is a short period of time when there is one of two figures that can be used. This is between publication of the number and 31st March that same year. During that time, the alternative number that can be used is the one that was published the previous February. Councils must use the lower of these two numbers as the Verification Number for any petition submitted during that period.