When a vacancy arises on a parish council due to a councillor's resignation, disqualification or death, the process to fill the vacancy is as follows.

The parish council will notify the Returning Officer. The Parish Council must then display a notice informing the residents of the parish of the vacancy. The notice will run for 14 days from the date it is displayed on parish notice boards, and gives the residents the opportunity to call for an election to fill the vacancy during this period.

If ten or more electors call for an election

Ten or more electors for the Parish must write to the Returning Officer, requesting that an election be held to fill the vacancy. The Returning Officer will set a date for the election and further notices will be displayed informing those interested how to apply as a candidate for election. The cost of any election is borne by the Parish Council.

If an election is not called

The parish Council are notified by the Borough Council to fill the position by co-option as soon as possible. Or, if vacancies remain after a recent election, the following procedure will apply:

The Parish Council will post a notice on their notice boards to advertise the vacancies. 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 (that is, 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.


You may be disqualified from standing for election (or being co-opted, if you are employed by the council, have had bankruptcy restriction orders made against you or have a previous criminal conviction with a prison sentence of three months or more, and for some other reasons. If you are in any doubt whether you would be able to stand for election please contact Electoral Services on 01483 523116.

Applying for a Casual Vacancy

If you are interested in applying to be co-opted onto the Parish Council, you need not wait until a vacancy arises.

You can write to the Parish Council expressing your interest in any casual vacancies that arise and requesting it consider your application when it had the authority to co-opt for a casual vacancy.

Page owner: Joe Blythman. Last updated: 14/12/2015 15:19