Edinburgh bids to get C-charge voters out

The City of Edinburgh Council is running a multimedia and PR campaign to encourage residents to vote on the Scottish capital’s proposed congestion charge.

It has called on the city’s 460,000 residents to vote in a postal referendum between 7 and 21 February. The campaign will feature public debates, and radio and press ads to encourage people to use their vote.

Councils are legally permitted to educate residents on referenda, but must not be seen to be campaigning for a particular outcome, said a council spokeswoman.

A similar campaign was originally launched by Transport Edinburgh (TE) last September but it has now been replaced by the council’s ‘use your vote campaign’. This was because of legal sensitivities, said a spokeswoman.

‘TE was educating voters on what it means to vote “yes” and what it means to vote “no” and was explaining the state of congestion in the city. But we are now campaigning for people to simply use their vote,’ said the spokeswoman.

She added that outlining congestion in the city could be construed as directing residents towards a ‘yes’ vote.

If the majority of Edinburgh residents approve the charge, ministers will vote on the proposal at the Scottish Executive.

The results of the referendum will be revealed on

22 February.

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