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Local authorities will be paying up to £80 million for Clegg’s AV referendum – money that could have been used to protect public services or cut the deficit

An analysis of the date by the No to v campaign shows that for the average council, the cost of the referendum amounts to nearly 10% of their budget cuts.

Since the Comprehensive Spending Review local authorities in England have faced severe cuts in their ‘formula grant’ from central government. At the same time, English councils face a huge bill from Clegg’s referendum. This money will be reimbursed by central government, but could have been entirely avoided. By not spending millions on the AV referendum, the government could have dramatically reduced the budget cuts that councils face.

For the average English council, the cost of the referendum amounts to 9% of their budget cuts. (This comparison is only available for English councils because the government’s formula grant differs by  devolved region).

Region Average cost as share of cuts:

East Midlands -11%
Eastern -11%
London -3%
North East -2%
North West -7%
South East -12%
South West -11%
West Midlands -10%
Yorkshire -6%
Average -9%

 And for many councils, the referendum costs amount to 16% or more of their budget cuts:

Council Cost of the Referendum Council cuts Per cent

Mole Valley £127,501 -£566,817 -22%
Stratford-on-Avon £207,219 -£964,338 -21%
East Dorset £107,656 -£502,291 -21%
Sevenoaks £199,648 -£949,565 -21%
South Lakeland £198,542 -£988,041 -20%
Basingstoke and Deane £217,258 -£1,093,800 -20%
North Kesteven £207,163 -£1,060,578 -20%
West Oxfordshire £136,767 -£709,539 -19%
South Cambridgeshire £203,132 -£1,079,476 -19%
South Bucks £88,885 -£477,492 -19%
South Somerset £255,852 -£1,383,625 -18%
Hambleton £132,313 -£715,921 -18%
Derbyshire Dales £127,446 -£690,733 -18%
Craven £107,047 -£580,217 -18%
Winchester £163,494 -£893,408 -18%
Fareham £149,776 -£825,840 -18%
Stafford £193,057 -£1,071,438 -18%
Rushcliffe £165,172 -£918,234 -18%
Tandridge £110,550 -£622,183 -18%
South Staffordshire £138,868 -£802,157 -17%
Hart £98,742 -£571,038 -17%
Uttlesford £106,075 -£619,110 -17%
Harrogate £276,733 -£1,632,144 -17%
Maidstone £209,222 -£1,250,278 -17%
North Dorset £93,090 -£558,867 -17%
Lichfield £140,230 -£847,505 -17%
Wychavon £166,338 -£1,012,368 -16%
Cotswold £135,948 -£827,715 -16%
Chiltern £103,286 -£629,218 -16%
Stroud £173,018 -£1,060,433 -16%
South Hams £122,549 -£752,868 -16%

Joan Ryan, Deputy Campaign Director of NO to AV, said:

“The Alternative Vote system is unwanted, unfair and – on top of this – far too expensive at a time when public finances are stretched. The money being wasted on this Lib Dem lifeboat would be better spent protecting public services. If you want to make sure that AV doesn’t cost any more than it has done already, vote NO on Thursday.”

The government has released information about the cost of the referendum for each local authority, which covers the costs of counting officers services and expenses across the UK. The total cost is an astronomical £80 million pounds. We have compared these costs to the 2011/12 annual change in the central government's Formula Grant to local authorities, as announced by DCLG here.

The full list of councils, with the cost of the referendum and percentage cuts is below:

 Council Cost of the referendum           Council cuts                Per cent

EAST MIDLANDS

Mole Valley £127,501 -£566,817 -22%
Stratford-on-Avon £207,219 -£964,338 -21%
East Dorset £107,656 -£502,291 -21%
Sevenoaks £199,648 -£949,565 -21%
Bolsover £86,336 -£951,820 -9%
Boston £73,844 -£898,030 -8%
South Lakeland £198,542 -£988,041 -20%
Basingstoke and Deane £217,258 -£1,093,800 -20%
North Kesteven £207,163 -£1,060,578 -20%
West Oxfordshire £136,767 -£709,539 -19%
South Cambridgeshire £203,132 -£1,079,476 -19%
Derby £232,182 -£14,921,738 -2%
South Bucks £88,885 -£477,492 -19%
East Lindsey £183,509 -£2,137,394 -9%
South Somerset £255,852 -£1,383,625 -18%
Hambleton £132,313 -£715,921 -18%
Derbyshire Dales £127,446 -£690,733 -18%
Craven £107,047 -£580,217 -18%
Winchester £163,494 -£893,408 -18%
Fareham £149,776 -£825,840 -18%
Stafford £193,057 -£1,071,438 -18%
Leicester £297,588 -£18,170,717 -2%
Lincoln £100,732 -£1,250,010 -8%
Rushcliffe £165,172 -£918,234 -18%
Tandridge £110,550 -£622,183 -18%
South Staffordshire £138,868 -£802,157 -17%
Hart £98,742 -£571,038 -17%
Uttlesford £106,075 -£619,110 -17%
Harrogate £276,733 -£1,632,144 -17%
Maidstone £209,222 -£1,250,278 -17%
Nottingham £283,461 -£22,017,449 -1%
Oadby and Wigston £59,988 -£647,873 -9%
North Dorset £93,090 -£558,867 -17%
Rutland £53,514 -£1,345,616 -4%
Lichfield £140,230 -£847,505 -17%
South Holland £103,313 -£1,125,071 -9%
Wychavon £166,338 -£1,012,368 -16%
Cotswold £135,948 -£827,715 -16%
Chiltern £103,286 -£629,218 -16%
Stroud £173,018 -£1,060,433 -16%

EASTERN

South Hams £122,549 -£752,868 -16%
Basildon £176,591 -£2,275,675 -8%
Bedford £185,359 -£8,421,967 -2%
Christchurch £59,729 -£369,070 -16%
Horsham £143,943 -£893,226 -16%
East Hampshire £129,248 -£802,878 -16%
East Devon £171,358 -£1,067,519 -16%
Mid Sussex £147,617 -£930,233 -16%
Cambridge £112,792 -£1,446,758 -8%
Castle Point £85,664 -£911,394 -9%
Central Bedfordshire £305,663 -£8,440,091 -4%
Chichester £136,211 -£863,096 -16%
Cherwell £206,258 -£1,313,074 -16%
Waverley £135,615 -£863,804 -16%
Reigate and Banstead £154,290 -£990,089 -16%
Tewkesbury £99,694 -£642,840 -16%
Babergh £120,195 -£776,514 -15%
Fenland £99,826 -£1,318,078 -8%
Forest Heath £59,915 -£690,196 -9%
Great Yarmouth £102,752 -£1,315,282 -8%
Harlow £72,199 -£1,137,324 -6%
Test Valley £157,098 -£1,018,266 -15%
Bromsgrove £112,853 -£739,838 -15%
Wealden £182,978 -£1,202,059 -15%
Daventry £126,119 -£828,936 -15%
Luton £177,137 -£9,198,670 -2%
Taunton Deane £137,727 -£908,896 -15%
St Edmundsbury £142,244 -£939,009 -15%
Eastleigh £145,353 -£964,149 -15%
Carlisle £173,864 -£1,160,262 -15%
Norwich £154,243 -£1,858,265 -8%
Peterborough £182,245 -£8,836,834 -2%
Ryedale £96,547 -£645,011 -15%
East Northamptonshire £124,133 -£832,375 -15%
Mendip £154,449 -£1,036,060 -15%
Southend-on-Sea £178,061 -£8,281,509 -2%
Mid Suffolk £133,584 -£897,206 -15%
East Hertfordshire £174,589 -£1,173,404 -15%
Purbeck £64,511 -£434,218 -15%
West Lindsey £159,684 -£1,078,065 -15%
Guildford £172,893 -£1,171,920 -15%
North Hertfordshire £169,363 -£1,149,912 -15%
Thurrock £169,731 -£5,790,299 -3%
Chorley £164,291 -£1,115,637 -15%
Watford £104,586 -£1,169,511 -9%
Lewes £120,313 -£820,395 -15%
Amber Valley £175,483 -£1,198,932 -15%

LONDON

Barking and Dagenham £269,695 -£8,967,995 -3%
Barnet £491,452 -£13,268,459 -4%
Bexley £359,303 -£9,236,949 -4%
Brent £415,412 -£21,136,321 -2%
Bromley £483,417 -£11,233,081 -4%
Camden £275,455 -£23,538,488 -1%
City of London £16,118 -£7,514,117
Croydon £461,925 -£15,493,806 -3%
Ealing £458,968 -£20,385,686 -2%
Enfield £448,484 -£11,416,899 -4%
Greenwich £345,293 -£20,682,209 -2%
Hackney £284,065 -£28,656,419 -1%
Hammersmith and Fulham £249,481 -£15,862,071 -2%
Haringey £309,932 -£19,519,729 -2%
Harrow £343,410 -£8,019,864 -4%
Havering £361,722 -£8,009,723 -5%
Hillingdon £397,597 -£11,291,276 -4%
Hounslow £357,275 -£13,699,992 -3%
Islington £275,407 -£21,001,498 -1%
Kensington and Chelsea £238,717 -£15,184,520 -2%
Kingston upon Thames £264,823 -£6,574,306 -4%
Lambeth £368,606 -£28,128,281 -1%
Lewisham £334,879 -£22,032,696 -2%
Merton £296,053 -£10,219,246 -3%
Newham £348,682 -£28,016,696 -1%
Redbridge £381,608 -£10,059,433 -4%
Richmond upon Thames £283,504 -£5,131,456 -6%
Southwark £339,958 -£29,656,392 -1%
Sutton £285,766 -£8,476,454 -3%
Tower Hamlets £334,195 -£29,259,303 -1%
Waltham Forest £334,974 -£13,673,959 -2%
Wandsworth £471,528 -£19,450,629 -2%
Westminster £301,943 -£23,368,272 -1%

NORTH EAST

Durham £967,600 -£27,750,746 -3%
Darlington £137,347 -£4,962,677 -3%
Gateshead £282,621 -£13,702,238 -2%
Hartlepool £112,988 -£7,018,050 -2%
Middlesbrough £144,697 -£8,877,246 -2%
Newcastle upon Tyne £365,152 -£21,829,313 -2%
North Tyneside £289,506 -£12,699,341 -2%
Northumberland £564,147 -£17,726,010 -3%
Redcar and Cleveland £163,245 -£8,615,913 -2%
South Tyneside £227,307 -£10,986,763 -2%
Stockton-on-Tees £241,505 -£10,564,788 -2%
Sunderland £402,560 -£20,141,496 -2%

NORTH WEST

Spelthorne £120,919 -£828,570 -15%
Barrow-in-Furness £67,737 -£1,067,093 -6%
Blackburn with Darwen £179,607 -£9,835,030 -2%
Blackpool £245,958 -£8,573,719 -3%
Bolton £313,026 -£16,938,243 -2%
Burnley £105,527 -£1,386,148 -8%
Bury £232,051 -£10,402,606 -2%
South Norfolk £167,107 -£1,149,696 -15%
Cheshire East £476,147 -£11,736,254 -4%
Cheshire West and Chester £378,882 -£14,818,298 -3%
West Somerset £55,838 -£384,623 -15%
Vale of White Horse £144,969 -£1,003,418 -14%
Ribble Valley £76,540 -£535,734 -14%
Elmbridge £142,865 -£1,002,460 -14%
Halton £130,676 -£8,537,879 -2%
Hyndburn £105,396 -£1,200,646 -9%
Knowsley £168,340 -£15,068,575 -1%
Lancaster £160,462 -£1,996,389 -8%
Liverpool £440,300 -£43,318,019 -1%
Manchester £516,370 -£43,258,376 -1%
Oldham £236,499 -£14,349,195 -2%
Pendle £117,234 -£1,346,781 -9%
Preston £159,807 -£1,934,341 -8%
Rochford £99,668 -£704,467 -14%
Rochdale £232,576 -£16,205,434 -1%
Rossendale £77,453 -£841,305 -9%
Salford £296,451 -£16,895,066 -2%
Sefton £292,613 -£17,709,717 -2%
Teignbridge £173,359 -£1,235,766 -14%
Cheltenham £152,826 -£1,089,401 -14%
St Helens £221,518 -£12,763,544 -2%
Stockport £328,544 -£12,486,210 -3%
Tameside £270,810 -£12,972,191 -2%
Trafford £289,161 -£10,823,311 -3%
Warrington £256,253 -£8,798,506 -3%
Eden £93,243 -£664,994 -14%
Wigan £355,390 -£17,098,097 -2%
Wirral £319,141 -£22,273,279 -1%
West Devon £85,997 -£614,619 -14%

SOUTH EAST

Wyre £177,215 -£1,268,975 -14%
Suffolk Coastal £156,911 -£1,124,462 -14%
Broadland £136,814 -£983,131 -14%
West Lancashire £169,289 -£1,225,797 -14%
Rugby £130,933 -£948,780 -14%
Bracknell Forest £114,485 -£4,353,830 -3%
Brighton and Hove £275,440 -£17,244,510 -2%
Canterbury £145,959 -£1,737,013 -8%
Mid Devon £119,219 -£864,710 -14%
Epping Forest £181,631 -£1,323,068 -14%
Selby £119,163 -£868,199 -14%
Crawley £109,880 -£1,252,436 -9%
South Oxfordshire £148,079 -£1,081,803 -14%
Dover £123,410 -£1,342,144 -9%
South Ribble £142,060 -£1,041,086 -14%
Eastbourne £101,014 -£1,252,156 -8%
Maldon £81,796 -£600,677 -14%
Ashford £144,310 -£1,060,289 -14%
Nuneaton and Bedworth £173,351 -£1,274,004 -14%
Malvern Hills £100,803 -£742,145 -14%
High Peak £128,231 -£944,125 -14%
Gravesham £100,063 -£1,072,829 -9%
St Albans £150,051 -£1,106,144 -14%
South Kesteven £172,151 -£1,269,761 -14%
Hastings £102,299 -£1,289,833 -8%
Havant £122,524 -£1,322,254 -9%
Harborough £108,550 -£807,351 -13%
Isle of Wight £183,877 -£8,948,756 -2%
South Northamptonshire £118,854 -£884,824 -13%
North Norfolk £156,327 -£1,167,504 -13%
Medway £258,410 -£11,585,025 -2%
Surrey Heath £94,239 -£705,463 -13%
Milton Keynes £263,056 -£9,874,505 -3%
Epsom and Ewell £80,723 -£608,311 -13%
West Dorset £144,655 -£1,091,768 -13%
Oxford £192,126 -£2,217,493 -9%
Portsmouth £180,766 -£10,873,168 -2%
Reading £154,608 -£8,564,704 -2%
Melton £72,243 -£545,434 -13%
Warwick £171,404 -£1,294,995 -13%
Dartford £128,089 -£968,546 -13%
Rushmoor £89,118 -£965,079 -9%
Broxbourne £104,587 -£793,388 -13%
Shepway £119,141 -£1,336,949 -9%
Slough £120,690 -£7,155,885 -2%
Fylde £102,854 -£781,401 -13%
Staffordshire Moorlands £133,187 -£1,013,308 -13%
Southampton £239,508 -£11,805,095 -2%
Broxtowe £143,896 -£1,095,987 -13%
Three Rivers £119,412 -£909,608 -13%
Swale £134,370 -£1,593,546 -8%
Braintree £180,545 -£1,385,113 -13%
Aylesbury Vale £218,115 -£1,681,176 -13%
Thanet £120,204 -£1,745,771 -7%
Copeland £111,560 -£860,687 -13%
Kettering £125,907 -£978,689 -13%
Hinckley and Bosworth £116,279 -£908,251 -13%
East Staffordshire £149,356 -£1,167,273 -13%
Gedling £135,198 -£1,057,457 -13%
West Berkshire £201,957 -£5,407,160 -4%
Worcester £117,264 -£920,981 -13%
Stevenage £111,970 -£880,829 -13%
Windsor and Maidenhead £152,226 -£3,385,331 -4%
North East Derbyshire £123,795 -£978,306 -13%
Wokingham £187,414 -£3,462,355 -5%
Worthing £103,055 -£1,103,654 -9%
Brentwood £96,157 -£760,496 -13%

SOUTH WEST

Bath and North East Somerset £204,382 -£6,809,833 -3%
Bournemouth £176,939 -£9,337,931 -2%
Bristol £440,386 -£22,406,944 -2%
Tunbridge Wells £115,196 -£911,288 -13%
Wycombe £173,392 -£1,375,928 -13%
Cornwall £938,804 -£28,338,385 -3%
New Forest £201,454 -£1,599,782 -13%
Huntingdonshire £201,079 -£1,600,135 -13%
Tonbridge and Malling £118,146 -£943,744 -13%
Allerdale £155,076 -£1,246,616 -12%
Gosport £104,837 -£849,121 -12%
Richmondshire £74,085 -£603,956 -12%
Isles of Scilly £9,374 £287
Torridge £97,336 -£800,495 -12%
South Derbyshire £119,621 -£986,520 -12%
Newcastle-under-Lyme £152,363 -£1,260,069 -12%
Blaby £102,066 -£847,883 -12%
North Somerset £231,962 -£8,118,192 -3%
Plymouth £292,212 -£11,482,146 -3%
Poole £178,288 -£4,131,680 -4%
Bassetlaw £169,589 -£1,409,794 -12%
Tamworth £95,195 -£792,853 -12%
South Gloucestershire £306,234 -£9,581,364 -3%
Adur £80,164 -£669,111 -12%
North Devon £129,019 -£1,083,492 -12%
Colchester £197,393 -£1,662,629 -12%
Swindon £197,609 -£7,053,159 -3%
Gloucester £147,745 -£1,245,784 -12%
Sedgemoor £139,770 -£1,185,909 -12%
Chelmsford £165,988 -£1,416,412 -12%
Torbay £147,381 -£7,685,729 -2%
Arun £159,256 -£1,361,665 -12%
Forest of Dean £113,138 -£968,162 -12%
Erewash £130,370 -£1,121,346 -12%
East Cambridgeshire £98,420 -£850,296 -12%
Weymouth and Portland £77,113 -£833,465 -9%
Wiltshire £743,354 -£17,385,524 -4%

WEST MIDLANDS

Birmingham £949,809 -£78,274,103 -1%
Rother £110,912 -£973,014 -11%
North West Leicestershire £112,107 -£988,379 -11%
Coventry £313,652 -£18,667,316 -2%
Dudley £353,993 -£14,448,658 -2%
Redditch £95,318 -£841,805 -11%
Herefordshire £237,469 -£9,233,394 -3%
Chesterfield £130,033 -£1,151,112 -11%
Dacorum £145,212 -£1,287,731 -11%
Newark and Sherwood £157,148 -£1,393,786 -11%
Northampton £264,051 -£2,344,176 -11%
Woking £106,186 -£964,767 -11%
Charnwood £162,778 -£1,480,620 -11%
Cannock Chase £121,011 -£1,107,481 -11%
Sandwell £327,600 -£19,231,200 -2%
Shropshire £515,060 -£13,261,406 -4%
Solihull £246,449 -£9,058,174 -3%
Breckland £152,956 -£1,416,028 -11%
Runnymede £85,247 -£793,551 -11%
Hertsmere £121,807 -£1,134,546 -11%
Stoke-on-Trent £276,603 -£13,020,744 -2%
Wyre Forest £117,072 -£1,119,151 -10%
Ashfield £137,277 -£1,326,208 -10%
Telford and the Wrekin £260,111 -£8,475,705 -3%
Walsall £281,916 -£15,898,282 -2%
Wellingborough £87,267 -£849,962 -10%
Wolverhampton £293,635 -£15,845,762 -2%
Welwyn Hatfield £111,686 -£1,100,010 -10%
North Warwickshire £78,477 -£775,515 -10%
Waveney £138,937 -£1,383,581 -10%

YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER

Barnsley £275,769 -£13,650,182 -2%
Bradford £517,824 -£34,889,743 -1%
Calderdale £255,528 -£11,494,680 -2%
Tendring £165,812 -£1,663,843 -10%
Doncaster £420,031 -£18,464,713 -2%
East Riding of Yorkshire £421,373 -£14,853,127 -3%
Ipswich £146,123 -£1,505,498 -10%
King's Lynn and West Norfolk £182,475 -£1,882,168 -10%
Kingston upon Hull £235,975 -£16,936,185 -1%
Kirklees £441,677 -£20,670,174 -2%
Leeds £835,456 -£43,925,544 -2%
North East Lincolnshire £172,477 -£10,018,696 -2%
North Lincolnshire £213,832 -£8,291,122 -3%
Exeter £135,501 -£1,410,646 -10%
Rotherham £336,653 -£16,207,069 -2%
Corby £68,585 -£717,350 -10%
Scarborough £134,007 -£1,479,485 -9%
Mansfield £119,680 -£1,253,422 -10%
Sheffield £562,286 -£37,220,826 -2%
Wakefield £367,322 -£19,125,817 -2%
York £212,842 -£7,634,560 -3%

23 comments for: AV referendum costs up to 22% of Council budget cuts

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