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0 votes
Following an uncontested election, the parish council has six vacancies for co-option. Two candidates do not appear to meet sections a), b), d), and e) of the Act. However they could meet section c) depending on the interpretation of 'work'. They are both volunteer Trustees and Chair of Trustees of a local organisation in the village, and one was previously a volunteer with the community shop - 12 months rule ok, and 'work' is unpaid.

WSALC has advised that this is a grey area around the interpretation as it not technically 'work' and suggested I refer to the District Council Monitoring Officer. The MO advised that they don't give legal advice on whether someone is eligible to stand and it is up to the candidate to be sure they are eligible or take their own legal advice.

If both candidates consider that they are eligible and get co-opted, could this be challenged at a later date, and could the parish council be held accountable, if, in fact, they did not meet the criteria.
All thoughts welcome..............
by (300 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
First thought….

I would seek the advice of the Electoral Registration Officer rather than the Monitoring Officer.
MO advises / adjudicates compliance / behaviour so is probably not the best person to advise, ERO on the other hand…

I’ve also found ERO to be habitually knowledgable, engaging and helpful - MO’s office usually not….
by (21.8k points)
0 votes
The Electoral Commission guidance on this is quite clear:

c. Your main or only place of work is in the parish area
1.19 To be able to use this qualification, your main or only place of work must have been in the parish area during the 12 months prior to your nomination and prior to polling day itself. You do not have to be in paid employment to qualify, as long as you satisfy the requirement of your main or only place of work being in the parish area. Councillors whose main or only job is being a councillor would be able to use this qualification, provided that their place of work is within the parish.
by (53.6k points)
Thank you both for your responses, which are most helpful.
How is the 3 mile limit for candidates wanting to be co-opted/stand for election of another parish than the one they live in calculated? From a candidate's home address or from one parish boundary to the next?
From the candidate's home address to the nearest point on the boundary of the parish in which they seek election.
0 votes
We had someone co-opted on the basis they were a Brownie Leader in the parish (no other occupation).
by (2.9k points)

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