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Where is the required composition for a Parish Council set out?

0 votes
Our Parish is divided into 4 wards, with Parish Councillors representing each ward. There has been a vacancy for a Parish Councillor to represent Ward A for at least 12 months, despite extensive canvassing of residents in Ward A by the PC.

 A parishioner from Ward B would like to join the PC, but her application has been rejected because the PC want a resident of Ward A. At the recent meeting they resolved to wait until a new housing development which is underway in Ward A is complete, in the hope one of the new residents will wish to join the PC.

I can't find anything on the PC's website which explains where the need to have x number of Councillors for each ward is set out (some wards have 4 councillors, others have only 1).  Can someone point me in the right direction please and confirm whether the PC can insist on waiting for a resident from Ward A?
asked by (1k points)

3 Answers

0 votes
The wards are set by the district council, usually following polling station areas (much smaller than council wards).

However, any person who meets the requirements for election to the Parish can choose which ward to contest, there are no requirements to live in a parish ward to be its councillor.

Whilst councillors can choose who to coopt or not, you could be in this situation for years if you don't get enough candidates at future elections. If councillors would have co-opted the candidate if they lived somewhere else, get them co-opted.
answered by (7.5k points)
Thank you, that is helpful in respect of the wards. We have been in this position for at least a year, possibly as long as two years already.
One of my councils is warded and nobody can remember the last time we had a councillor from one of the wards. They are supposed to provide two. I also have a councillor who lives in a different county from the parish, but within three miles and farms land within the parish.
+1 vote
How pathetic
Do you mean they rejected the application form or that they refused to co opt the resident ?
We have had several Councillors who didn't even live within the Parish and I thought the rule was they had to live within three miles of the boundary
answered by (2.8k points)
The minutes of the last meeting say that "X is keen to be a Councillor but resides in Ward B. The PC would still prefer some-one from Ward A". So, I suspect the interested person has been given a steer that an application would be unsuccessful.  The Co Opting procedure outlines the personal attributes the PC will take into account when making a decision, and residence within the Ward is not listed.
The arrogance that they show demonstrates why so many ( but not all ) Parish Councils are held in contempt
It could be that because the person lives a hundred yards into one Ward they won’t even consider them
Firstly the person concerned could apply for cooption anyway and  secondly if that fails they could wait for a Councillor to resign, get 10 signatures and call an election
I am afraid you are right about their arrogance. The re is a lot of unprofessional (in my opinion) behaviour, and they are open that the meaningful decisions are taken in the pub after the meeting.
0 votes
You may wish to remind the council of their obligations under the The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006, section 5(5), which states:

"(5) Subject to paragraph (6) below, where a casual vacancy in any such office is not required to be filled by election, the parish or community council must, as soon as practicable after the expiry of the period of 14 days referred to in paragraph (2)(c), co-opt a person to fill the vacancy."

Holding a vacancy for an unspecified potential purchaser of an unbuilt property is clearly not in the spirit of the legislation.
answered by (24.7k points)
Thank you, most helpful.
But as we know Dave no one enforces legislation
Currently I’m waiting for the Information Commissioner to rule on my PC’s point blank refusal to supply information even though some of it should be in the public domain in the first place
In this scenario, I'd contact the elections officer at the district council. They have a more specific remit than the usual monitoring officer situation.

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