Issue - meetings

Returning Officer Fees and Charges

Meeting: 02/02/2021 - Cabinet (Item 23)

23 Returning Officer Fees and Charges

Report of the Chief Executive


Supporting documents:


Cllr Richard Clewer, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Heritage, Arts & Tourism, Housing and Communities introduced the report which proposed the Returning Officer’s scale of fees and charges scheme to run local elections and referenda effective from 1 April 2021.


The report indicated that the Returning Officer is appointed by the local authority to conduct elections and referendums within the local authority area. The current 2013 scale is outdated in terms of pay rates and inadequately

reflecting the job roles and services required. There was now a need for specific job roles and services to be identified and included in the fees and charges scheme.  The report also includes information relating to the Returning Officer as the designated Counting Officer for Neighbourhood Planning Referendums.


Cllr Graham Wright, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, explained that he and Cllr Alan Hill (Vice-Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee) received a briefing on the report on 1 February 2021.  Cllr Wright confirmed that he and Cllr Hill were comfortable with the proposals.


In response to comments from Cllr Ian Thorn, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, about budget costs and Chief Executive fees, Cllr Clewer and the Director of Legal and Governance explained that due to the complexity of the four different types of elections due, a written response would be prepared to respond to the issues raised.




To recommend Council to:


  1. approve the revised scale of fees and charges effective from April 2021;


  1. note the inclusion of fees for Neighbourhood Planning Referendums;


  1. approve a revised scale of charging for uncontested elections;


  1. approve a revised scale of charging for countermanded or postponed elections.



Reason for decision:


The existing 2013 scheme is outdated and does not reflect all the job roles, pay rates and services required to run an election/referendum. The proposed new scheme addresses this and provides a clear and transparent scale of election/referendum costs. It also captures costs for all scenarios whether the election is contested, uncontested, countermanded or postponed.