The Election Procedure:
Ordinary elections of local councillors take place on the first Thursday in May every four years. Reorganisation of local government may cause alteration of the Election Day and election year in some cases.
A few terms that you will encounter explained:
- Returning Officer – person empowered to run an election.
- Standing – Putting your name forward for election.
- Electoral Register – Names and addresses, together with election identification numbers of all people within a community who are registered to vote.
- Election Timetable – dates when specific forms must be publicised or submitted.
- Warded – Areas are split up into what is called ‘wards’ so that councillors are elected by a specific smaller number of people and will be aware of their local concerns rather than having to represent all people within a whole parish.
- Expenses – If you do produce your own leaflets/pamphlets you need to declare how much you have spent on this.
- Publication of the Notice of Election.
The Chief Executive of the District Council is the Returning Officer and therefore has the duty to call an election.
Election staff in the District Council Elections’ Office have all the papers you will need and will be able to give advice and may check nomination forms.
- Getting the nomination forms
You will need to contact the Forest of Dean District Council Elections Office to ask for the appropriate forms. Parish Councils are sent a certain number of forms and may make them available in the community, but the District Council will send additional forms to anyone who requests a pack. Anyone who is eligible to stand can request these forms.
- Completing the nomination forms
You will need to fill in all your personal details and those of the people nominating you. You and those nominating will be asked to fill in your Electoral Register number. This is the district code on the front of the Electoral Register e.g. A Village might be ‘SX’ then this is followed by the number that appears next to your name, or next to the name of the person nominating you. The entry in this box will therefore read something like ‘SX 413’.
You must get your form completed and signed by those nominating you and it will help to copy the numbers of those nominating you when you obtain your own Electoral Register number.
- Sending the nomination forms back.
It is imperative that you submit your forms in accordance with the Timetable of Proceedings. Failure to do so will render your application null and void!
- Do not forget to get everyone mentioned to sign the forms
- Ensure that all addresses are in full with no abbreviations
- Include the whole Electoral Register reference letters and numbers
- Be careful not to miss important dates (see insert 12 ‘Election Timetable’ enclosed)