If a vacancy arises on a Parish Council due to an existing councillor’s resignation, disqualification or death, the process to fill the vacancy is as follows:
- The Parish Council will notify the Returning Officer of the vacancy
- The Returning Officer will send the Parish Council a notice which they have a duty to display for 14 days, informing residents of the vacancy.
- An election will be called if ten residents, who are registered to vote in the area where the vacancy has arisen, write to the Returning Officer requesting that an election be held.
If an election is not called
The Parish Council are notified by West Berkshire Council that an election has not been called and that the vacancy may be filled by co-option. Or, if vacancies remain after a recent election, the following procedure will apply:
- The Parish Council will post a notice on their noticeboard to advertise the vacancy. The notice will also include the closing date for all expressions of interest to be received.
When the applications have been received the Parish Clerk will consider the application letter(s). If the applicant is:
- Elected and not disqualified they may be co-opted on to the Parish Council.
- If there is more than one applicant then the decision will be decided by a vote.
Eligibility for Office
To qualify for election as a Parish Councillor, and to hold such an office, an applicant must be:
- A British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of any other member State of the European Union and on the relevant day (the day of nomination or election) have reached 18 years of age or over. In addition, they must meet at least one of these four qualifications:
- On the relevant day and thereafter they continue to be on the electoral register for the Parish, or
- During the whole of the twelve months before that day they have owned or tenanted land or premises in the Parish, or
- During the whole of the twelve months before that day their principal or only place of work has been in the Parish, or
- During the whole of the twelve months before that day they have resided in the parish or within 4.8km (3 miles) of the Parish boundary.
An applicant may be disqualified from standing (or being co-opted), if they are employed by the council, have had bankruptcy restriction orders made against them or they have a previous criminal conviction with a prison sentence of three months or more. If you are in any doubt whether you would be able to stand for election please contact West Berkshire Electoral Services