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Parish and Community Casual Vacancy

Rule 8, Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) Rules 1986

If a vacancy on the town or parish council arises, then the clerk is required to give public notice of the vacancy. Use the template available below and send it to the Electoral Services section at Allerdale Borough Council.

Download the Notice of Vacancy form

If the vacancy arises within six months of the date that a councillor's term of office expires the parish (or community council) may co-opt to fill the vacancy until the next ordinary elections. Find out about this below.

What happens to the Notice of Vacancy

If a written request for an election is received within 14 days of the notice of vacancy (not including Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday or any other bank holiday and any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning) by the proper officer of the Borough Council from ten local government electors for the electoral area, then the Returning Officer will set the date of election within 60 calendar days of the date of the notice of vacancy. 

If a written request by 10 electors is not received within 14 calendar day the parish council shall, as soon as practicable, fill the vacancy by co-option.  Any person co-opted to the Council must meet the usual qualifications to be a councillor. Find out below how co-opting this works.

Co-opting a councillor

Only Parish/Town Councillors present at the meeting may nominate, second or vote upon a person to fill the vacancy.  At this meeting, members should be informed of the names and addresses of anyone wishing to be considered as a Councillor.  Councillors present at the meeting must then decide if they wish to nominate any of the persons named at the meeting or any other persons known to them.  A Councillor does not have to nominate any of the persons named.  Any Councillor may nominate someone for the vacancy, and provided the nomination is seconded, that name may be voted upon.

Voting for the new councillor is by show of hands unless the Council has adopted Standing Orders which allow any other form of voting in Council.  If there is only one vacancy, a Councillor may only nominate or second one candidate.  The chairman should place the names of those properly nominated into alphabetical order and take a vote.  Councillors have only one vote each.  The first candidate to receive an absolute majority of those present and entitled to a vote is declared elected.  Should no single candidate receive a majority on the first vote, the person with the lowest number of votes is eliminated, voting takes place on the remainder, one vote per councillor.

This continues until one person receives an absolute majority.

If there is more than one vacancy, a Councillor may nominate one person for each seat. Each Councillor has one vote per seat, i.e. two votes or three votes according to the number of vacancies.

The successful candidate is then declared co-opted to the Council and summoned to attend the next Council Meeting where he/she will sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office to agree to be bound by the Code of Local Government Conduct.

Once a new councillor is elected

Don't forget that each new councillor must sign a declaration of acceptance of office and register of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests. The clerk is required to keep the declaration of acceptance of office and register of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests. A copy of the register of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests must be sent to Allerdale Borough Council's Democratic Services section.

Download the Register of Pecuniary Interests form

Download the Declaration of Acceptance of Office form