§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to increase turnouts in local referenda on directly elected mayors; and what plans he has to provide public funds for this purpose. 
§ Ms Beverley Hughes
Chapter 13 of the guidance on new council constitutions, placed in the Library of the House on the 26 October 2000, indicates measures for local authorities to maximise turnout at local referendums and states that we are considering the introduction of certain innovations in electoral practice in the proposed regulations on referendums. As stated in the Local Government Bill explanatory notes, published on 26 November 1999, savings arising are expected to offset, or more than offset, any additional costs that may fall to local authorities as a result of adopting new decision-making arrangements including the costs associated with the holding of referendums.