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What should happen when a town council doesn’t notify the District Council of a councillor vacancy

0 votes
There remains one vacancy on the Town Council. The TC has co opted many members since the May elections. The website says ‘no vacancies’. There is no notice on the District Council’s website. I asked the DC’s electoral services mailbox what ought to happen in this case - the DC now know that there is a vacancy and confirm that they haven’t been notified, the Town Council knows that there’s a vacancy but haven’t notified the DC. They say that I should take it up with the clerk. What happens in a normal town with a normal TC and a normal DC?
by (1.5k points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Vacancies are usually notified to the elections office of your principal authority by the Clerk but if this is a vacancy resulting from insufficient candidates at your election in May, it actually works the other way around.   For standard resignation, it is usual for the resigning councillor to write to the Chair who should then pass the correspondence to the Clerk to forward to the elections office.
by (13.9k points)
Thank you for this. So as things stand, with the DC being aware, and the Clerk being aware, what happens now? I think that you are saying that the DC ought to be just issuing a notice that there is a vacancy and stating how to go about getting that filled. But the MO is stating that I should take that up with the clerk.
The monitoring officer isn't involved in elections; merely in councillor/council behaviour.  When a casual vacancy occurs (i.e. a councillor resigns) It is the role of the elections office at your principal authority to issue the relevant notice of vacancy which invites members of the public to request an election.  If no such request is received within the statutory period, then the council is free to co-opt.  If, however, this is a vacancy which has resulted from insufficient candidates at the elections May, the council can co-opt without the  requirement for a notice inviting members of the public to request an election (subject to the council being quorate after the May elections) so the council can co-opt within 35 days of the actual full election.  The elections office should be giving advice on the next steps.
Sorry I have confused things, the Monitoring Officer is standing in for the returning officer, to whom I have addressed my enquiry.
It is now well beyond the 35 day period. The council has a vacancy, the District Council electoral services know that a vacancy remains and they are telling me to take it up with the clerk. The MO (standing in for the returning officer) is now saying that because the council is quorate it does not have to serve a vacancy notice and the returning officer has no remit to get involved.

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