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How long must a resident have lived in the relevant area before being eligible for co-option. If vacancies have been open for a while does length of residency not matter?
by (940 points)

1 Answer

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If they are on the list of electors for the parish the 12 month rule does not apply. Otherwise yes it does apply.

They must be one of the following:

  • an elector for the parish; or
  • resided in the parish for the past twelve months or rented/tenanted land in the parish; or 
  • principal place of work in the parish; or 
  • lived within three miles (direct) of the parish.

They must not:

  • hold a paid office under the local authority;
  • be in bankruptcy; 
  • have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) of not less than three months, without the option of a fine during the five years preceding the election
  • have been disqualified under any enactment relating to corrupt or illegal practices.
  • have any sex offenders order against them
by (4.6k points)

Assuming eligible as above, in order to be successfully co-opted must receive a majority vote of the existing Cllrs in order to BE co-opted.
I had an interesting discussion with a well informed interested party recently where they were proposing that a council cannot prevent an otherwise eligible co-option candidate from being co-opted where there are less candidates than positions available.
Whilst well intentioned, the protagonist was incorrect in their assumption that co-option is automatic and that a council has no mechanism to NOT co-opt.
I pointed out it is for the individual Cllr to decide how they might cast their vote and there is no presumption of co-option until after the bote
RAC this whole Co-option thing  is as clear as mud .  We now face a situation where we have more applicants than vacancies and nobody understands the voting process.  I think the new Council considers all qualified applicants for vacancy number 1 and votes until an overall majority is achieved and then moves on to vacancy number 2 until all vacancies are filled . I don't understand the bit about nominations and alphabetical order.   What I do believe however is that  if Councillors can privately agree who they don't want beforehand that they   can make sure this is achieved if they vote collectively .  All good fun.  I have been persuaded to apply
More candidates than places is a great (and rare) place to be.

What it allows therefore is some selective consideration of all candidates.

Doesn't mean you'll end up with the best though - we had a co-option with more candidates than places where 1 candidate 'sold them self' as the best thing since sliced bread (to the detriment of the other candidates) and ended up adding absolutely noting to the 1 or 2 meetings they attended before resigning.  The greatest pity being that the 2 other exceptional candidates were disappointed.

Look to the positives!  Having ANY candidates is probably something to be celebrated, having excess candidates is genuinely encouraging since it means people are getting involved.

We had 6 vacancies.  4 just filled by co-option last meeting and 2 candidates that couldn't attend that meeting but are lined up for the next one.

6 vacancies (5 resignations and 1 disqualification) over a 6 month period.
Now THAT is progress - getting rid of deadwood and having 6 candidates illustrates the positive energy going forwards.
Keep the faith brother!  It is hard work but it is worth it in the end

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