Skip to main content

Casual vacancies for town and parish councillors

If a vacancy arises on a town or parish council, due to an existing councillor's resignation, disqualification or death, there is a process to fill the vacancy. 

Process to fill a vacancy

  • The town or parish council will notify the Proper Officer of the vacancy. The Proper Officer, appointed by the local authority to manage and deliver the registration service. The Proper Officer for Waverley Borough Council is Tom Horwood, who is also Chief Executive.
  • The Proper Officer will send the parish council a Notice of Vacancy, which they have a duty to display for 14 working days, informing residents about the vacancy.

Notice of Vacancy – Cranleigh Parish Council – Cranleigh East Ward

Notice is hereby given that a casual vacancy has risen in the Office of a Councillor for the Parish of Cranleigh – Cranleigh East Ward.  If by Monday 8 March 2021 (14 days excluding Dies Non, after the date of this notice) a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to:

The Proper Officer, Waverley Borough Council, The Burys, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1HR

by TEN electors for the Parish ward, an election will be held to fill the vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

As it currently stands if an election is called, in accordance with the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the 2020 Regulations, Regulation 6 of the 2020 Regulations provide that an election to fill a casual vacancy that would have taken place in the period 16 March 2020 to 5 May 2021 (inclusive) will now take place on 6 May 2021.

Dated: 16 February 2021

Tom Horwood, Proper Officer

Second Notice of Vacancy – Cranleigh Parish Council – Cranleigh East Ward

Notice is hereby given that a casual vacancy has risen in the Office of a Councillor for the Parish of Cranleigh – Cranleigh East Ward. If by Tuesday 16 March 2021 (14 days excluding Dies Non, after the date of this notice) a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to:

The Proper Officer, Waverley Borough Council, The Burys, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1HR

by TEN electors for the Parish ward, an election will be held to fill the vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

As it currently stands if an election is called, in accordance with the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the 2020 Regulations, Regulation 6 of the 2020 Regulations provide that an election to fill a casual vacancy that would have taken place in the period 16 March 2020 to 5 May 2021 (inclusive) will now take place on 6 May 2021.

Dated: 24 February 2021

Tom Horwood, Proper Officer

An election will be held if ten residents, registered to vote in the area, write to the Proper Officer, requesting an election. 

  • If the vacancy occurs in the last six months before the ordinary election the parish council is required to give notice of the vacancy but an election is not held. The council may co-opt  (choose whoever they please to fill the vacancy, provided the person is qualified to serve as a councillor) or leave the vacancy unfilled until the next ordinary election. (LEPCR 2006, sec 5 (6)
  • Following an ordinary election if the parish council has the minimum number of councillors required (LGA 1972), then it must co-opt as soon as practicable to the remaining vacancies (RPA 1985, sec 21). If the vacancy to be filled remains vacant outside of the 35 day period then the district authority (Waverley) may intervene (RPA 1985, Sec 21 cites RPA 1983, Sec 40). However, even after 35 days, the parish council may co-opt without the need to advertise such vacancies if the Returning Officer indicates that he does not wish to invoke his powers to call an election. This is because the Notice of Election (now expired) has acted as the vacancy notice and there is no provision for a further notice to be advertised.

 

We will notify the town or parish council that an election has not been called and that they can choose to fill the vacancy. The person must be qualified to serve as a councillor. This is called co-option.

To qualify for election as a town or parish councillor, and to hold this position, you 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. They must also 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
  • during the whole of the twelve months before that day, they have owned or tenanted land or premises in the parish
  • during the whole of the twelve months before that day their principal or only place of work has been in the parish

during the whole of the twelve months before that day, they have lived in the parish or within 4.8km (3 miles) of the parish boundary.​

Disqualification

You may be disqualified from standing (or being co-opted), if you are a paid officer or employee of that parish, have had bankruptcy restriction orders made against you or you 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 Electoral Services on 01483 523116 or visit the Electoral Commission website for more information.