Find out about referendum

TWO neighbourhood forum meetings will be held this week to give residents the chance to find out more about a referendum which is likely to take place in Hartlepool later this year.

It is anticipated that the referendum will take place on November 15 when voters will be asked whether they want to retain the directly-elected mayoral system in the town.

Peter Devlin, Hartlepool Borough Council’s chief solicitor, will give a presentation “Referendum on how the Council is Run” and members of the public will have the chance to ask questions.

The North & Coastal Neighbourhood Forum is being held at the Civic Centre at 10am on Thursday and the South & Central Neighbourhood Forum is being held at the venue at 2pm.

By law only one alternative system of how the council can be governed is allowed to the current directly-elected mayor system.

The council is consulting people on which of two alternative options should appear on the referendum ballot paper from a Leader who is an elected councillor model or committees made up of elected councillors.

The consultation closes on Friday and so far there have been almost 500 responses.

A spokesman for the council said: “The neighbourhood forum meetings present an excellent opportunity for people to find out more about the referendum, including the two possible alternatives to the directly-elected mayor system.

“The presentation will last for around 30 minutes and there will be the chance for residents to ask questions.”

Further details of the two systems, including how they would work are available in a leaflet which can be obtained from the Civic Centre, all libraries and other key public/community buildings.

The council is expected to decide on August 2 which alternative system of running the council appears on the referendum ballot paper.