Questions about town and parish councils
Follow Councillor Q&A on X/Twitter

Follow us on X/Twitter

0 votes
In my Borough there are 264 Parish  / Town Council seats and only 191 candidates
The only Council with an election is the best run one presumably because they always have elections which forces Councillors to perform
After 12 years of harassment I decided not to stand and my Council now only has 11 candidates for 20 seats and some of those left have poor attendance rates and lack of interest so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens next

So my question is how is the situation in other parts of the Country and how many actual elections are taking place ?
by (11.6k points)

9 Answers

0 votes
15 seats and 12 candidates - only had one contested election in 2011 and a by-election a couple of years ago.
by (24.4k points)
0 votes
Exactly the same - 15 seats and 12 candidates although 1 candidate didn't get their papers in and will probably be co-opted (genuine reason for not doing so - family ill health).  However, I am aware that very many smaller parishes have struggled to reach a quorum locally and very few contested elections.
by (19.1k points)
0 votes
My three each have 7 seats and we have 3,4 and 5 nominations. I've lost two chairs and all three vice-chairs, with little or no warning, so bank signatories will be a challenge. There are no obvious candidates for the vacant chairs, so agenda item 1 might be an awkward silence. My neighbouring parish has 7 seats and 2 nominations, so they're thumbing the rule book as we speak.

I've felt for some time that we have the wrong people on our councils, but it's a self-perpetuating problem. With the wrong people, we struggle to achieve anything meaningful for the community. When we don't achieve anything meaningful, the right people see no reason to become involved. The challenge is to show them how much better things could be.
by (53.3k points)
I’m really sorry to hear this you might find the comments below from a Monitoring Officer helpful

Further to my email regarding the statutory notices, I wanted to provide further information on what happens next.

Your current councillors remain in office until Tuesday 9th May 2023. Any validly nominated candidate elected at the close of nominations will take office from Tuesday 9th May 2023.
Where you have uncontested elections, you are welcome to get in touch with the candidates so that you may begin your procedures for them to accept their office. Where an address has been ‘suppressed’ and is not on the notice, we will contact them and direct them to get in touch with you directly.

Where you still have seats remaining on your council, but uncontested elections, you will be able to begin your co-option process. This co-option process should be completed with 35 working days from Thursday 4th May 2023.  If you do not have a formal co-option policy, it is considered good practice to advertise for expressions of interest. Whatever process you use, it should be fair and transparent.
If you do not have enough candidates to be quorate, any validly nominated candidates are declared elected at the close of withdrawals, taking office from Tuesday 9th May 2023. The election process must be re-run, with a new date for the election picked to take place with 35 working days of Thursday 4th May 2023. If you are in this situation, we will be in touch towards the end of the current election period to arrange this. In the meantime, you are welcome to advertise for expressions of interest as above, however any interested parties will need to complete a nomination paper and stand as a candidate, rather than be co-opted.

If you have any questions regarding the forthcoming elections, please do not hesitate to contact me.
They'll need to fire up the election process asap, as 35 working days with 3 bank holidays in the mix takes it to the last couple of days of June, leaving a day or two to approve and submit the AGAR. The by-election process takes 5 weeks, so there isn't much leeway.
Much appreciated for the information Jules, in line with all comments it will be business as usual in as much is possible under the circumstances. Obviously something will suffer as a consequence of limited numbers, but procedurally things move on.
0 votes
Locally I have only found a handful of contested elections scrolling through the various District websites at Parish/Town level. Indeed a number of uncontested District Wards. The number of candidates must be a historic low with a number throwing in towel at last minute (indeed a high number of nominations withdrawn).
by (8.5k points)
For 18 months I was hounded for challenging the inner sanctum and one brutal exchange persuaded me not to apply again.  After the mass resignation of the inner sanctum we have gone from 19 to 8 Councillors.  For the last 2 weeks 6 Councillors who had previously sat there and did nothing begged me to stay .  I will now return on my terms . I think the PC model is slowly destroying itself
Your experiences far to familiar and unfortunately seem to be shared by so many within sector. The impact the first few years have had on my own health at times hard to quantify. What is so depressing is you turn the corner and work so hard to get things back on track and just know it takes seconds to unpick all hard work.. No protections, no safety net
How much of the apathy/disdain would be conceivably attributed to the number of charitable groups set up that perhaps prefer their own governance rather than having to compete around the table with those whom have other priorities?
Locally CM collapse in standards, no confidence in Local ALC, no confidence in the principal authority, cost of living (and fact its unpaid role that seems to cost good cllrs a fortune endleslly digging into own pockets to move things forward) seem to be the standout reasons.  A lot of anger about goverments attitude to sector and how the return to in-person meetings was handled... as well
Cheyene   Large charities maybe, but smaller ones I am not so sure.  I am much more exposed to risk from being a trustee, and with more work, than being a councillor.
0 votes
I quit last month to speak out against a certain matter being blamed on my council. Currently only 6/9 places filled. Total of 16 candidates standing including 5 ex chairs!
by (990 points)
Please let us know how you get on
0 votes
What makes the situation even more bizarre is that for four years I’ve been criticised for being both a Parish and Borough Councillor and so having “ split loyalties “
I’ve been harassed at Council meetings and publicly told to resign for being “ double hatted “ plus attempts were made to have a “ vote of no confidence “ in me
Yet now 3 of the 11 Parish candidates are standing for the Borough as well
by (11.6k points)
You've started a trend. They've seen you sitting there enjoying your huge Borough Councillor allowance and all the other perks of the job and now they too want a slice of the cake!!
Dave, what makes it funnier is that in their election flyers they are promising things that are not within the Borough Council remit and which at least one of them has opposed in the past
As for perks I haven’t received a single brown envelope despite what social media say
0 votes
Nineteen seats only four applicants, 2019 uncontested eighteen of nineteen seats, slow decline since and current cohort ( all but three party members) declared not re standing, could not fill two vacancies since 2021.
by (1.3k points)
Wow that basically puts the PC into liquidation there must be panic in Borough Councils all over the Country
I’ve tried to access the information from various Borough Council websites but so far only mine shows the seats for each Parish and the number filled by election
Jules Try going into elections legal notices (uncontested elections)
Jamie I have done that, the problem is if an election is uncontested they don’t make it clear how many seats are up for grabs
My Borough publishes a list showing all the Parishes and how many seats they have most don’t seem to do that
Thanks some of the Borough Websites are a pig to navigate
I thought this is something that NALC should be bringing  together just to demonstrate what  a wonderful job they are doing in making becoming  PC Councillor an attractive proposition. Its a vicious circle, clerks don't want to work at "understaffed" Councils with poor Councillors so they deliberately  beef up the importance of the clerk's role so  much so that it puts off potentially good Councillors even more
It’s very tedious to extract details but I did look at at a neighbouring Borough 52 wards, 12 elections although in two cases other Wards in the same Parish have vacancies so there’s really no need ! but just as in my Borough nearly all the elections are in industrial areas plus there is only one Parish that is inquorate
0 votes
Jules   Good luck.  Tho I am not sure the threat of election helps performance.
by (2.5k points)
0 votes

13 seats and only 7 candidates nominated. Uncontested election. The cynic in me says that some current members couldn't be bothered completing the nomination pack and will wait until they can apply for co-option (easier process). wink

by (410 points)

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

2,964 questions
5,785 answers
10,081 users
Google Analytics Alternative