The Election Procedure

How are parish councillors elected?

Parish councillors are elected to represent a geographical area either known as a ward for larger towns or as is the case with Middleton the parish as a whole. They are elected by people who live in the area (though you can only vote if you appear on the electoral register), usually during a single parish election. Most parish elections are on the same cycle, every 4 years. However, parish elections may instead be held together with associated principal council elections.

Positions on the council may also become available within mid term, which can lead to a by-election. Alternatively the position can be filled through a procedure called "co-option", click here for a copy of the co-option procedure adopted by Middleton Parish Council.

It should be noted that an election only occurs if there are more people standing than there are position on the council.  This is why there has not been an actual election for sometime in Middleton.

The election timetable is as follows:

  •  Publication of notice of election: Not later than the twenty-fifth day before the day of election.
  • Delivery of Nomination papers: Not later than noon on the nineteenth day before the day of election.
  • Publication of list of candidates: Not later than noon on the seventeenth day before the day of election.
  •  Delivery of notices of withdrawals of candidature: Not later than noon on the sixteenth day before the day of election.
  • Notice of Poll: Not later than the sixth day before the day of election.
  • Polling: Between 07:00 and 22:00 on the day of election.

In calculating the timetable the Bank holidays and weekends are disregarded.

Nomination process

A prospective candidate must deliver or send by post to the Returning Officer a valid nomination paper. This form is obtained from the Officer. The candidate's surname, forenames, residence and description (if required) must be entered and his or her number and prefix letter from the current register of electors. The Returning Officer has a copy of this register, and the clerk of the local council normally has one.

The nomination paper must also contain similar particulars of a proposer and a seconder. They must be electors for the area for which the candidate seeks election (i.e. the parish, community or town or the ward if it is divided into wards): they must sign it.

What Next?

The returning officer appointed by a principal authority (district, borough, county or unitary authority) is the person responsible for the conduct and arrangement for community, parish and town council elections.

If you are considering becoming a candidate for election it could be wise to contact the Returning Officer to obtain any more detailed information. Also for more information about what life is like as councillor contact your local County Association of Local Councils or alternatively your local community, parish or town council.