Transport referendum arrangements approved

September 16, 2008 12:00 AM

Councillors Alan Taylor and William Hobhouse are hoping to bring public transport improvements into Rochdale through the TIF bid referendum.Rochdale Council's cabinet last night (15 September 2008) approved arrangements for a referendum on Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) proposals.

The controversial proposed package involves up to £3 billion investment in local transport and the introduction of a weekday, peak-time only congestion charge.

Results in the Greater Manchester-wide all postal referendum will be broken down authority by authority. Ballot papers will be sent out in late November with a deadline for their return of 10pm on 11 December.

Councillor Alan Taylor, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: "The referendum later in the year is the public's chance to vote on whether or not we will get 30 years worth of transport investment all in one go so it is vitally important that people can exercise their democratic right and have a say on the proposals. I'd encourage anyone who has not yet returned their registration form to do so as soon as possible and to find out how a decision either in favour or against would affect them personally."

Only those people on the electoral register will be eligible to vote. The council is currently updating the register and has sent forms to every household in the borough to confirm the names of all adults living at each property. Electors who have not returned their forms by 22 September will be visited personally in early October by someone who will be able to help them complete a final reminder form. Failure to return a completed form may result in you not being able to participate in the referendum.

The council's cabinet also welcomed the appointment of Sir Neil McIntosh CBE as returning officer for the referendum across Greater Manchester. Sir Neil served as electoral commissioner for Scotland from 2002 to January this year and played a lead role in overseeing the 1997 Scottish devolution referendum. He will provide independent scrutiny and supervision of the Transport Innovation Fund referendum.