GORDON Brown may be resisting the idea, but the residents of a Purbeck village could get a poll on whether to approve the new EU treaty.

The parish could be among only a handful across the country which will exercise its right to voice its opinion on the structure of the European Union.

The poll on whether there should be a referendum over the issue was requested following a recent East Stoke parish meeting held at the River Laboratory Centre in East Stoke.

Only six members of the parish are needed to call a meeting by giving notice and only 10 votes are needed to proceed to a poll.

Residents will be able to vote on the question "Do you want a referendum on the proposed new EU treaty?" on September 20 at the RLC.

The matter will be discussed at Thursday's full parish council meeting.

However, there is a concern within the council that a vote would be a waste of time and money if neither the electors nor Purbeck District Council agrees to fund it.

Parish chairman Cllr Simon Cross said: "The referendum on a referendum could cost our taxpayers 10 per cent of the total precept, which is about £400.

"The matter is also resting with Purbeck District Council who could decide to challenge it on legal grounds, although I don't think that will happen."

He added: "We are seeking to protect the council tax payers of the parish from the costs of holding a poll which has only limited direct relevance to the parish and which may yet be the subject of a legal challenge.

The parish is being used to bring publicity to this politically motivated procedure."

The EU treaty was established to secure maximum agreement from its 27 member states to meet the demands posed by enlargement.

A citizen's rights charter was removed from the new treaty and mention of the word "constitution" was dropped at Britain's request.

The government has so far been reluctant to pledge a referendum, despite some Labour MPs joining the demand.

Roger Knapman, an MEP with the UK Independence Party, said: "We very much welcome this move to give people a say and will support it fully."

A YouGov poll has indicated that twice the number of voters would say "no" to a new EU treaty as "yes".