Wiltshire Council has set a date of Thursday, 20th April, for the Parish Poll that will ascertain what levels of support exist for a 5% cap on Salisbury City Council precept.
The poll was instigated after a 44% council tax increase was approved by Salisbury City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee back in January.
The City Council called a parish meeting in February after a number of residents voiced their concern. Among those to demand a poll was Cllr Eleanor Willis, group leader of the City Council’s Conservatives, who called for action to cap any future increases.
During the meeting members of the public present voted almost unanimously to hold a poll on a future cap.
The poll itself has proved almost as controversial as the precept increase as the cost will fall on the City Council and, therefore, tax payers.
The poll will have one question: “Do you support a 5% cap on future increases to the Salisbury City Council precept and a parish consultation if any proposed increase is larger
The legislation surrounding the poll is different to that for an election. The key differences are:
● Hours of poll: 4pm to 9pm, voters cannot be issued with a ballot paper outside of that timeframe.
● No provision for poll cards, postal voting or proxy voting – electors have to vote in person regardless of whether they are usually a postal voter or a proxy voter.
● The only person legally entitled to attend the count is the proposer.
● The only statutory notice is the Notice of Poll which has to be published no later than Thursday, 13th April.
● The notice will legally include the proposer’s name and address as well as details on the poll and location of polling stations.
At the time of going to press, no further details have been released.