East Devon District Council

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Guide Become a Parish or Town councillor

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4. How can I become a parish or town councillor?

The date for the next Town and Parish council elections will be May 2019, but sometimes seats become vacant.  At this level of local government, a vacant seat may not automatically be put up for an election; ten or more electors from the town or parish must request an election in a specified period.  You are able to stand for election if you:

  • Are 18 years of age or over on the day of nomination;
  • Are British, or a citizen of the Irish Republic, European Union or Commonwealth, and on the day of nomination and on election day you are, and continue to be, an elector for the town or parish area, or;
  • You have owned or leased land in the town or parish for twelve whole months proceeding nomination, or:
  • Your principal or only place of work during that twelve months has been in the town & parish, or, you have resided in town & parish for twelve whole months.

You may not stand for election for the Town or Parish council if (amongst other things):

  • In the last five years before the day of election you have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including a suspended sentence) without the option of a fine;
  • You are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order;
  • You have been disqualified by the Adjudication Panel for England

If an election is not called by ten or more electors, the clerk of the Town or Parish can call for a co-option of a councillor, where residents of the town or parish who meet the requirements above can write in to ask to be considered for co-option onto the council.  The council then meets and considered those requests and votes on who fills the vacant seat.

More detailed information on how to stand for election is available from the Electoral Commission: www.electoralcommission.org.uk or the Election Officer on 01395 517500.