An Update on the District & Parish/Town Elections on 2 May

This is the first of a number of updates with information about processes and deadlines for the District and Parish/Town Council Elections being held this coming May.

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(i) Elections

Elections to Cotswold District Council and every Town/Parish Council within Cotswold District will take place on Thursday 2 May.  All seats on all councils will be subject to the election process.

Apart from the chairman and vice-chairman, your current councillors will remain in office until the fourth day after the election day of 2 May, when they will retire and the new councillors will take office.

Your chairman will remain until after a new chairman has been elected at your annual meeting following on from the elections (even if he/she does not seek re-election); and your vice-chairman will also remain in office until the new chairman has been elected (again, even if he/she does not seek re-election).

(ii) Timetable

A timetable of key events is available on https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/about-the-council/elections/current-future-elections/ but, for ease, a copy is also attached.

 

(iii) Notice of Election (publication date 18 March 2019)

The publication of this notice marks the start of the formal election process.

Clerks will be sent a copy of the notice of election for their parish/town council during the week beginning 11 March.

Please display a copy of this notice on your parish/town notice-board(s) by no later than Monday 18 March.

It would also be helpful if this notice could be displayed on your council’s website (if you have one) and distributed to any email lists you use for community purposes.

If you would like paper copies sent to you, please let me know how many you would like.

(iv) Nominations (from 19 March up to 4pm on 3 April)

Nomination packs will be available from 18 February and paper copies will be sent to clerks for distribution to interested parties.  Copies will also be available on our website.

Anyone wishing to stand as a candidate must submit completed nomination papers to the Returning Officer by no later than 4pm on Wednesday 3 April.

N.B. All nomination papers MUST BE HAND DELIVERED to the Returning Officer (Nigel Adams) at the District Council Offices, Trinity Road, Cirencester, GL7 1PX by the deadline (candidates may ask someone else to deliver the papers on their behalf). 

A candidate may ask someone else to deliver any or all of the papers on his/her behalf but, ultimately, it is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all relevant forms are delivered in the correct manner and on time.  Where a document is required to be delivered by hand, this can include delivery by a courier.

The Returning Officer and the Elections Team will be available to accept nomination papers between the hours of 9am and 5pm from Tuesday 19 March until Tuesday 2 April and from 9am until the nominations deadline at 4pm on Wednesday 3 April (excluding weekends and bank holidays).

If possible, candidates are recommended to submit their nomination papers a few days before the closing date.  As in previous years, the Elections Team can carry out an informal check of nominations so that any errors or omissions can be corrected before formal receipt. If a candidate wishes to take advantage of this service and/or would like to make an appointment to deliver his/her papers, he/she should contact the Elections Team on 01285 623002.

The Returning Officer and the Elections Team may also assist a candidate to complete a nomination paper. However, if a candidate is not sure if he/she is able to stand, he/she should contact the Electoral Commission or seek his/her own legal advice.

Please note that the nominations deadline is the same for all elections being held on 2 May, so it would be helpful if nominations could be delivered as early as possible.

(v) Withdrawal of Candidature

If, having submitted a nomination, a candidate wishes to withdraw his/her candidature, he/she must do so by 4pm on Wednesday 3 April (i.e. the same time/date as delivery of nominations).  This requires a signed notice to such effect, attested by one witness, delivered by hand to the Returning Officer

If no withdrawal is received by that time, candidates will remain nominated and be part of the election process

(vi) Statement of Persons Nominated (publication date no later than 4pm on 4 April)

Details of nominations received will appear in the form of another notice – the Statement of Persons Nominated.

Clerks will be sent a copy of the notice for their parish/town council as soon as possible after the close of nominations, for publication by no later than 4pm on Thursday 4 April.

Please display/distribute as for the notice of election.  If you requested paper copies for the notice of election, we will also provide paper copies of this notice.

At this stage, we will provide more information on the process for each council, dependent upon the number of nominations received.  The options can be summarised as follows:-

  • If there are more nominations than seats, an election will take place on 2 May.
  • If there are fewer nominations than seats but there are sufficient candidates to enable the council to be quorate, the council will be able to co-opt to fill the remaining seats (a formal co-option process, including the advertisement of the vacancies, is recommended).  N.B.  The council quorum is three or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater (fractions are rounded up).
  • If there are insufficient nominations for the quorum figure to be achieved, any validly-nominated candidates will be elected unopposed but a new election will be run to seek further nominations.  If this happens, clerks will be advised of the procedure.

(vii) Notice of Poll (publication date 24 April 2019)

If there is to be a contested election, clerks will be sent a copy of the notice of poll for their parish/town council during the week beginning 15 April, for publication by no later than Wednesday 24 April.

If there is the same number of candidates as seats, or fewer candidates than seats, we will provide a notice of uncontested election (for publication by the same deadline).

Please display/distribute as for the notice of election.  If you requested paper copies for the notice of election, we will also provide paper copies of this notice.

(viii) Election Day

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 2 May 2019.

A list of polling stations will be sent to you as soon as they have been confirmed.

(ix) The Count

The verification of ballot papers for all elections will take place after the close of poll and continue overnight on 2/3 May; along with the District election counts.

The counting of the votes for any parish/town council elections will start at 2pm on Friday 3 May.

All verification and counting will take place at the Cotswold Leisure Centre, Cirencester.

Further details about the verification and count will be issued to candidates and clerks after the close of nominations.

(x) Registration of Electors

To vote at any election, residents must be included on the register of electors. 

Anyone who is already included on the register does not need to re-register.  However, if someone is in any doubt, he/she should check with the Elections Team.

The deadline for registration of new voters is Friday 12 April.

Anyone wishing to register can do so online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote (they will need their national insurance number to register).

Poll cards for the 2 May elections will be issued to all registered electors on 26 March.

(xi) Postal Voting

Anyone wishing to vote by post at the elections must submit an application by 5pm on Monday 15 April. 

If a person already has a postal vote arrangement in place, he/she does not need to re-apply.  However, if someone is in any doubt, he/she should check with the Elections Team.

If a person already has a postal vote arrangement in place, but wishes to change the way that he/she votes on 2 May, then he/she must do so by 5pm on Monday 15 April. 

Application forms are available from https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote or contact the Elections Team for a paper form.

(xii) Proxy Voting

Anyone wishing to vote by proxy at the elections must submit an application by 5pm on Wednesday 24 April. 

If a person already has a proxy vote arrangement in place, he/she does not need to re-apply.  However, if someone is in any doubt, he/she should check with the Elections Team.

If a person already has a proxy vote arrangement in place, but wishes to change the way that he/she votes on 2 May, then he/she must do so by 5pm on Monday 15 April. 

Application forms are available from https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote or contact the Elections Team for a paper form.

(xiii) District Council Elections – Display of Notices

Similar notices will need to be published and displayed in connection with the District Council elections (on a ward basis).

I should therefore be grateful if you could publish these notices alongside your parish notices – we will send you the district notices at the same time as the parish ones, but these only need to be displayed on your parish/town notice-board(s).

(xiv) Updates

Further updates will be issued over the next few months but if you have any queries in the meantime, please do contact the Elections Team using one of the following methods:-

You can also visit www.gov.uk/yourvotematters for information on how to register and vote.

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