§ Ann Winterton
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reason a preamble is to be included on the proposed ballot paper for the referendum on a regional assembly in the North East of England. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
The purpose of the preamble is to ensure that electors are informed of the implications, particularly for local government, of voting on the establishment of a regional assembly.
The form of the ballot paper, including the wording of the preamble, is prescribed by the Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Act 2003(a), which was enacted by Parliament last year.