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Barrington Parish Council – Co-option Procedure

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Barrington Parish Council
Co-option Procedure

Where a vacancy occurs during the term of a parish council, it may be filled by either
election or co-option. Elections only occur if, following the advertisement of the
vacancy for 14 days, 10 electors send a written request to the returning officer. If no
request is received, the parish council may fill the vacancy by co-option. In a cooption process the Councillors by default become the electors of a new councillor.

In the event of the Council filling a casual vacancy by co-option the following procedure will be implemented:
1. A notice of Co-option will be prepared by the Clerk and posted on notice
boards or prominent place giving at least two weeks’ notice.
2. Interested persons will be asked to register their interest with the Clerk.
3. Notice of the intention to co-opt to fill the vacancy will be given in the agenda of the Parish Council meeting.
4. All potential candidates will be asked to: submit a letter containing full contact details (telephone, postal address and e-mail) setting out why they are interested in becoming a Councillor; sign a declaration that they are eligible to
become a Councillor and are not disqualified (as set out in the Local Government Act 1972 s79 and s80); complete a skills audit (See Appendix A), and confirm that they will take advantage of training opportunities which may
occur from time to time.
5. All those who have expressed an interest and who are eligible will be invited to attend the meeting. It is not mandatory that candidates attend the meeting.
6. Candidates may, if they wish, make, or have read out by the Clerk, a short statement (max 1 page of A4) on why they want to be a councillor and what they can bring to benefit the community.
7. Once all candidates’ statements have been heard the Chairman will ask councillors present to propose any of the candidates. Candidates will also need to be seconded to proceed to the voting stage.
8. The Chairman will then place the names of those nominated into alphabetical order and proceed to a vote. Councillors have one vote per vacancy to be filled.
9. Voting will be by paper ballot and will continue until one candidate has an absolute majority of the councillors present.
10.Should no candidate receive a majority on the first vote, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated. Voting then takes place on the remaining candidates and continues until one candidate receives an absolute majority.
11.In the event of a tie the Chairperson may use a coasting vote.
12.The successful candidate is then declared elected.
13.The council is not obliged to consider candidates who have been unsuccessful at previous co-options or make a co-option if there is no suitable candidate.
14.If any of the accepted candidates declines the post, the candidate eliminated last will be approached.
15.The Council ratifies the list of co-opted Councillors.
16.The co-opted Councillors are invited to sign the Declaration of Office and take their place at the table.
17.The Register of Interests must be completed within 1 month of taking office

Beckie Whitehouse
Clerk to Barrington Parish Council
Reviewed February 2021