Statement from SCDC re. Neighbourhood Plan referendum

We took legal advice yesterday afternoon about the possibility of deferring/postponing the Neighbourhood Plan Referendum in light of the spread of Coronavirus. The advice was given by Timothy Straker QC who is the pre-eminent QC for matters related to electoral law.

The advice we received was categoric in stating that there is no legal basis at all for us to postpone a referendum or election once the timetable had been initiated. Timothy was clear that this would only change if central government were to make regulatory provision allowing it. This has not happened, and we are therefore required to continue with the referendum as planned.

We will, of course, put all possible measures in place to ensure that voting on 26 March is as safe as it possibly can be for electors and our staff.

Electors who are concerned about attending at the polling station can still apply to vote by proxy. Application forms can be downloaded from our website at, and completed applications can be emailed to The deadline is 5.00pm on Wednesday 18 March. Please remember that an individual who is not an immediate family member may only act as proxy for up to 2 people.

Electoral Services


2 comments on “Statement from SCDC re. Neighbourhood Plan referendum

  1. I assume that in view of the latest Government decision regarding both local and mayoral elections that this referendum will at the very least be postponed until later in the year or indeed postponed until next year.

    • As yet the District Council is yet to receive any guidance from the government as to whether the event will be postponed (SCDC are the ones running the event and not the Parish Council). The local and mayoral election decision only applies to the events from May onwards. As soon as we receive further information from SCDC we will publish accordingly.

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