Everything you need to know about the referendum on the future of East Boldon
Neighbourhood planning allows communities to help shape development and growth in their local areas by giving locals a say on where new homes, offices, transport and other community infrastructure could be built.
A referendum on the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan is set to take place on Thursday, October 28.
The referendum is run in the same way as a local election however, residents will be asked whether they want South Tyneside Council to use the neigbourhood plan for East Boldon to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.
Residents can vote in person at the polling station at Scout Hut, behind the Grey Horse pub in Front Street, East Boldon, which will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday October 28.
Residents with a postal vote are urged to complete and return their postal ballots as soon as possible.
Those who have not had time to post it before polling day, can still hand it in at the polling station on Thursday October 28. Postal votes that arrive after 10pm will not be counted.
People voting in person are encouraged to help keep themselves and others safe by wearing a face covering (unless exempt), bringing their own pen or pencil and cleaning their hands while entering and leaving the polling station.
Voters should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or if they have been asked to self-isolate.
Anyone who develops symptoms or is asked to self-isolate shortly before polling day has up to 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote – which allows them to nominate someone they trust to vote on their behalf.
Jonathan Tew, counting officer at the referendum, said: “Those living in the East Boldon neighbourhood area will be heading to the polling station on Thursday October 28.
“The referendum is an opportunity for them to make their voices heard on how local planning matters will be determined in the future.
“It is important that those residents in the neighbourhood area check the information on their polling cards or postal votes.
“We would encourage people to consider the information and guidance available about the voting process beforehand, so they know what to do on the day.”
Around 3,400 people are entitled to vote in the referendum on the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan, with around 1,400 of those residents registered to vote by post.
If more people vote ‘yes’ than ‘no’ in the referendum, then South Tyneside Council will use the neighbourhood plan to help decide planning applications in the East Boldon Neighbourhood Forum area.
If more people vote ‘no’, then planning applications will continue to be decided using the policies in the various documents that comprise South Tyneside’s development plan.
Information on the neighbourhood plan itself can also be found on East Boldon Neighbourhood Forum’s website here: www.eastboldonforum.org.uk/2021/08/29/referendum-information