Town Council elections 2023
Every four years Town and Parish councils are required to hold elections. That time is now nearly upon us. For the most part, town and parish councils are non-party political – and the better for it. That is certainly the case in Chudleigh.
Electors who wish to stand for the council are required to nominate themselves. The nomination pack will be available from Teignbridge District Council from mid-February. To obtain a pack you can telephone 01626 215104 or email email@example.com. I should be able to share the timetable for the return of nominations in the next edition.
What happens after that depends upon how many nominations have been received. Chudleigh Town Council consists of 13 councillors. If there are 13 nominations or fewer then all those nominated are automatically elected unopposed. If there are more than 13 nominations then there will be a contested election. This will take place on Thursday 4th May.
If you are considering becoming a local councillor please feel free to get in touch with me. I can talk to you about what is involved and, if you decide to stand, guide you through the nomination process.
It is worth me saying that, as a town councillor, you can achieve a great deal for your local community. Over the last four years the current council has generated the finance to construct a pump track at Millstream Meadow. We have taken over the cutting of roadside verges in the town and organised weed spraying as the County Council no longer has the funds to provide these services. We have developed a natural burial site at the cemetery. The council also set up a landing site for the Devon air ambulance. At the moment the Council is exploring ways to slow traffic in various parts of the parish. Inevitably, the term of the current council was impacted greatly by Covid. Much of our normal work had to stop and our efforts were concentrated on providing a prescription and shopping service for vulnerable residents. Looking after vulnerable residents is a key part of our work and that is why we are currently operating a “warm places” initiative where residents can stay in the town hall for the evening without incurring energy costs at home.
Becoming a councillor really isn’t just about attending boring meetings and it isn’t like Prime Minister’s Questions with people hurling insults at each other. It is about working together as a group to make the town a better place. So think about standing for office. Town councillors are not paid but can claim reimbursement of any costs incurred whilst carrying out council business. This includes childcare costs.
The basic requirements for a person to qualify to stand as a candidate are:_
· You are a British or Commonwealth citizen, citizen of the Republic of Ireland or citizen of the European Union; and
· You are aged 18 years or over on the day of nomination.
· A candidate must also satisfy a connection with the town or parish, as follows:
You are registered as a local government elector for the town or parish in which you wish to stand; or
During the whole of the 12 months preceding the date of nomination you have occupied land, or other premises within the town or parish, as owner or tenant; or
Your principal or only place of work during those 12 months has been within the town or parish; or
During the whole of those 12 months you have resided within the town or parish, or within 4.8 kilometres of it.
· Certain people are disqualified from becoming a candidate. These include employees of the Town or Parish Council where the election is sought, employees of connected organisations, and subjects of bankruptcy restriction orders or interim orders in England and Wales. People who, within the last five years, have served a prison sentence of three months or more (including a suspended sentence) without the option of a fine, may not stand as candidates.