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CASUAL VACANCIES

0 votes
Recently I have admittedly and unashamedly used the Casual Vacancy process to get re-elected as a Councillor after initially resigning.  I applied for one of two vacancies which were advertised ie my own and another Cllr who resigned at the same time.   I was the only applicant and got elected unopposed.   Now a couple of months later the unfilled vacancy is being advertised again  and I asked why as I thought if unfilled the PC then could fill by co-option.  The reply I have received says no once a vacancy is advertised for filling by election then that's it it cannot be filled by co-option ie the vacancy will keep on being advertised until its filled.  Is that right ??
by (2.3k points)

4 Answers

0 votes
A casual vacancy must be advertised for 14 days when it occurs. If no petition ( 10 voters) is received to request an election then the PC is required to fill the vacancy by co-option.

I would interpret that as an open ended requirement ( providing the PC makes the effort to co-opt) until the vacancy is filled and cannot see where there is any requirement to re-advertise a vacancy that has already been advertised and gone through the required procedures.
by (13.9k points)
The advice I have received reads "Once a call for poll has been received by the required ten parishioners, the opportunity for co-option has passed and is no longer an option for the parish council.  The Notice of Election will continue to be published until either a) a single nomination is received within the time period for receiving nominations, in which case that person will be elected uncontested (as in your case), or b) more than one nomination is received in which case the election will be contested and will proceed to poll.   I don't have a real problem with it, just didn't know about it .  So really just sharing for info,
You didn't mention that a petition for election had been received ( 10 people) which means that an election must be organised and held for the vacancy( and paid for) .
Your question stated that the two vacancies had been advertised and one had been filled ( by you as no petition received). If a petition is received then the filling of the vacancy is out of the PC's hands ( either by filling or co-option). As I said the second vacancy has already followed the required procedure which allowed the PC to co-opt ( meeting time requirements) so still think as I stated. I am sure someone will be able to clarify but it is helpful if all the facts are presented when seeking answers:D
If a valid petition is submitted within the 14 working days after the vacancy has been advertised, the vacancy may only be filled by election. The power to co-opt exists only where no election has been called.  If the election is advertised, but no candidates are nominated, a further election must be advertised, and this cycle continues until a valid nomination or the regular four-yearly election crops up.
Mentorman.  thought I did mention it as how else could I get elected unopposed unless an election had been called by 10 electors ?   The poll did of course meant two vacancies were up for grabs hence the ongoing and recurring elections until the originally called for vacancies are all filled.  I understand the process now but wasn't aware of the ongoing process.  Must be a nightmare if any Council gets some en bloc resignations as recruitment via co-option is much easier from the PCs point of view
@DavetheClerk  From what I quoted above (although not the actual legislation) there is no need to perpetuate elections.  We have had several occasions of elections being called but insufficient candidates, and CO-OPTION has always been approved by the Principle Authority
0 votes
This extract from the Good Councillor guide seems to cover the original election, and would allow the second vacancy to be co-opted.  It's certainly what happened in 2of our 3 wards last time around:

 CO-OPTION The council chooses someone to fill a vacancy if insufficient candidates are proposed for seats at an election
by (140 points)
Section 5 of The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities)(England and Wales) Rules 2006 states:-

"Filling of casual vacancies

5.—(1) A request may be made in accordance with paragraph (2) for an election to fill a casual vacancy in the office of a parish or community councillor.

(2) Any request must be made—

(a) to the proper officer of the council of the district in which the parish is situate or the county or county borough in which the community is situate,

(b) by 10 persons who are named on the register in use at the time of the request as local government electors for the electoral area in which the vacancy has occurred, and

(c) within 14 days (computed in accordance with rule 2 of the elections rules in Schedule 2 to these Rules) after public notice of the vacancy has been given in accordance with section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 F15.

(3) An election must be held, if requested in accordance with paragraph (2), if the casual vacancy in the office of the parish or community councillor occurs other than within six months before the day on which that councillor would regularly have retired."

The important part of this is "(3) An election must be held..." The power to co-opt only comes into play if no election is required.
0 votes
I believe casual vacancies should be filled in accordance The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities)(England and Wales) Regulations 2006.  These state that a) an when a casual vacancy exists an election may be demanded by 10 parish electors, b) where an election is not demanded then the parish council must, as soon as practical co-opt a person to fill the vacancy, and c) if the vacancy falls within 6 months of the next ordinary election then the parish council may, but is not obliged, to the vacancy by co-option.  I'm not sure where the stuff has come from about re-advertising but no doubt someone will fill the blanks.
by (780 points)
0 votes
Was the unfilled vacancy in your Ward also?

Or is your council just comprised of one single electoral parish area?

If not, did ten or more electors call on the Principal Authority (PA) to call an election in a different ward ?

Did anyone submit nomination papers to the PA to stand for election in that different ward?.
These are the missing pieces of information we need to know in order to understand what the full backround is.
by (28.8k points)
The issue relates to a specific Parish Council.  Two Councillors resigned within days of one another.  The clerk issued two Casual Vacancies notices at the same time.  This invited 10 electors to apply for filling by election.  This was done and granted.   Two vacancies were advertised and I was the only one who applied.  So there remains one vacancy unfilled. The question is what options does the the PC now have? In the meantime the District Council have issued new and separate elections details for the remaining vacancy,

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