There are currently 4 vacancies for councillors on our Parish Council here in Perranzabuloe. If 10 residents submit a request to Cornwall Council for an election by 11th March, this will trigger a local election to fill these spaces. This is very good in terms of the democratic process as it means that all eligible voters in the parish will be able to cast their ballots and choose who they would like to join the council to represent them. The election will cost the Parish Council about £3,000 but this is an anticipated expenditure and provision is always included in the annual budget for one such election in a year.
Once this election has been triggered, the next stage is for nomination papers to be made available for any candidates who wish to step forward to become councillors. In this case, if 4 candidates or fewer complete the nomination forms to stand then these people will be automatically elected as there is no competition and there is no point in holding an election. This is called an ‘uncontested election’. The candidates would immediately become elected councillors – although there hasn’t actually been an election and there are no costs involved. If there are more than 4 people who put their names forward as candidates, there will be an election.
If none of the above happens because the 10 residents have not triggered an election, then the spaces will be filled by ‘co-option.’ This process involves interested candidates putting their names forward directly to the Parish Council and councillors will vote to choose the candidates that they believe have the most appropriate skills and experience. This would not involve any costs but means that it is only the current councillors who are involved in choosing.
Please contact the office if you would like further explanation or to find out more about what’s involved in serving as a councillor for Perranzabuloe Parish Council.