A referendum can be called by a number of different bodies, such as parliament or a local council.
In the past, referendums have been called to find out if the public wish to enter the European Community or to change the voting system.
Every year in February, Chesterfield Borough Council has a duty under the Local Government Act 2000 to publish the minimum number of signatures required to support a valid petition to request a referendum on whether or not the borough should have an elected mayor.
The minimum number of signatures (equivalent to five per cent of the authority’s local government electorate) is 3,968.
This number will apply to any petition submitted to Chesterfield Borough Council from now until 31 March 2018.
Looking for information about the EU Referendum held in 2016?
Find out more here.