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0 votes
Hi folks,

One of our councillors resigned in August and we've had at least three people come forward to replace. This morning, a second councillor resigned. Presumably it has to be notified that this second councillor has resigned, offer the chance for an election and so on. Can we delay filling the first slot so we can fill both slots together to avoid any of the candidates "dropping out" from feeling like they weren't "first choice", or do we have to treat these two things as completely separate events and on their own time scales?

by (990 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
I note you haven't said if your parish is warded, and if the vacancies are for different wards. Notwithstanding that, you must always give separate notice of both vacancies as they arose. In theory you can hold the co option process for both vacancies at the same meeting, but the candidates that applied  for the first vacancy, must also apply subsequently and separately for the second vacancy. Each vacancy must have its own set of candidates for evaluation, it can't just acquire the left overs from a previous one. You can't just allow the candidate that came 2nd for the first vacancy to automatically become a councillor for the second vacancy if they didn't submit an application for it.
by (34.9k points)
selected by
Thanks Graeme, really appreciate that response and it makes total sense. I presume therefore that if the co-option of both positions were held in one meeting, after the selection of the first Councillor, they could sign papers, take their seat and vote on the second Councillor. Should this be the case rather than "it can be the case" (i.e. the clerk should ensure they have the appropriate papers ready at the meeting)? No, our parish isn't warded.
As your Parish isn't warded that means candidates aren't limited for co option for specific wards.  As soon as the co opted cllr signs their declaration of office they are entitled to exercise the responsibilities of office.  Which includes voting for another co opted candidate.  However different councils have different processed.  Some could establish a co option policy or standing order and form a sub committee to select a candidate or candidates and ask full council to resolve to accept their candidates.  Others might argue that a newly co opted councillor would not have had time to read & consider the depositions of other candidates and could make an ill informed choice.  You can make things the case by resolving a policy or standing order amendment.  Then the clerk will have to ensure they have the papers present.
+1 vote
Make sense to delay if you have not had any interviews etc - depending on your co option policy .  Pretty impressive to get 3 candidates for a vacancy ! Democracy is alive !
by (2.9k points)
Well, I personally feel if democracy was alive, we'd get the letters of application in to hold an election. However, I was elected back in February and it cost the Council £3k for the privilege, which annoyed some councillors. Turnout was 21% from about 1100 households, which I didn't think was too bad considering it was only one Parish Councillor position, only 17 people requested an election and it was right during the fall out of the storm that lead to most of the Parish being without power for 5 days (including the day of the election).
I also fear that if our Council wasn't in *quite* a bad way and just doing what it was supposed to be doing, we would have 0 candidates!

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