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Can someone be elected or co opted to Parish councillor if they have a criminal record?

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asked by (120 points)

2 Answers

+3 votes

Please note that under Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972, a person is disqualified from being elected as Local Councillor or being a member of a Local Council if he / she:

  • Holds any paid office or employment of the local council (other than the office of Chairman) or of a joint committee on which the Council is represented OR
  • Is a person who has been adjudged bankrupt or has made a composition or arrangement with his / her creditors (but see below) OR
  • Has within five years before the day of election, or since his / her election, been convicted in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man of any offence and has been sentenced to imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for not less than three months without the option of fine OR
  • Is otherwise disqualified under Part III of the Representation of People Act 1983 for corrupt or illegal practices.

answered by (13.1k points)
0 votes

This was a discussion we had recently when updated our recruitment policies, be aware that Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 has a couple of changes

Around bankruptcy, it now states "is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or an interim bankruptcy restrictions order, or a debt relief restrictions order or interim debt relief restrictions order……"  This means that a person can be currently bankrupt (or has been bankrupt in the past) and can still be a councillor, but cannot be if they are subject to a 'restriction'

The idea behind this is that a person could end up bankrupt through no fault of their own, i.e. a major creditor goes bust forcing them into bankruptcy, whereas ‘Restrictions’ are put in place where there is blame assigned to their actions, so is deemed blameworthy.  When the restriction finishes (normally a maximum of 3 years) they can stand or be co-opted; a council who blocks someone who is currently bankrupt or whose restriction has ended will be breaking the law.

We had to amend as we nearly fell foul of this change, we nearly excluded a Councilor who through no fault, was made bankrupt by a creditor (a cringeworthy multinational), because the national company he supplied services to went under under owing him an arm and a leg (plus a few other body parts!).  As the Official Receiver found it was a no-fault bankruptcy the Official Receiver reminded us of the change in law, where the Enterprise Act 2002 amended the Insolvency Act 1986


answered by (1.1k points)

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