Elections

This is information about processes and deadlines for the North Somerset Council and for Parish/Town Council elections being held this coming May has been provided by North Somerset Council.

(i) Elections

Elections to North Somerset Council and every Town/Parish Council within North Somerset will take place on Thursday 2 May 2019.  All seats on all councils will be subject to the election process.

Apart from the chairman and vice-chairman, your current councillors will remain in office until the fourth day after the election day of 2 May, when they will retire and the new councillors will take office.

Your chairman will remain (even if he/she does not seek re-election) until after a new chairman has been elected at the annual meeting of your council following the election; and your vice-chairman will also remain in office until the new chairman has been elected.  Again, this applies even if he/she does not seek re-election.

(ii) Timetable

A timetable of key events can be found on North Somerset Council’s (NSC) website http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-council/voting/ but, for ease, the details are as follows:

Publication of Notice of Election

19/03/2019

Start of Nominations

20/03/2019

Close of Receipt of Nominations

03/04/2019  at 4.00pm

Delivery of Notice of Withdrawal of Candidature

03/04/2019  by 4.00pm

Appointment of Election Agents (North Somerset Council only)

03/04/201 by 4.00pm

Publication of Statements of Persons Nominated

04/04/2019 by 4.00pm

Last Date for Registration – deadline for applications

12/04/2019 by Midnight

Receipt of Postal Vote and Postal Proxy applications

15/04/2019 by 5.00pm

Bulk issue of postal votes

18/04/2019

Receipt of ordinary Proxy Vote Applications

24/04/2019 by 5.00pm

Appointment of Poll and Count Agents

25/04/2019

Day of Poll (polling stations open 7.00am to 10.00pm)

02/05/2019

Verification of the votes (following close of poll)

02/05/2019

Counting of the votes

03/05/2019

(iii) Notice of Election – publication date will be Tuesday 19 March 2019

The publication of this notice marks the start of the formal election process (and also the commencement of the period of purdah).

Clerks will be sent a copy of the notice of election for their parish/town council in advance.  Please display a copy of this notice on your parish/town notice-board(s) by no later than Tuesday 19 March.

(iv) Nominations (from 20 March up to 4pm on 3 April)

Nomination packs are available to download below;

Nailsea Town Council

North Somerset Council

Anyone wishing to stand as a candidate must submit completed nomination papers to the Returning Officer by no later than 4pm on Wednesday 3 April.

N.B. All nomination papers MUST BE HAND DELIVERED to the office of the Returning Officer (Nicholas Brain) at the North Somerset Council Offices, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ by the deadline (candidates may ask someone else to deliver the papers on their behalf).

A candidate may ask someone else to deliver any or all of the papers on his/her behalf but, ultimately, it is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all relevant forms are delivered in the correct manner and on time.  Where a document is required to be delivered by hand, this can include delivery by a courier.  We will operate a receipt issuing system, which you are advised to retain carefully.

The Returning Officer and the Elections Team will be available to accept nomination papers on weekdays between the hours of 10am and 4pm from Wednesday 20 March until the nominations deadline at 4pm on Wednesday 3 April (weekends [and bank holidays] are excluded).

If possible, candidates are recommended to submit their nomination papers a few days before the closing date.  As in previous years, the Elections Team can carry out an informal check of nominations so that any errors or omissions can be corrected before formal receipt. If a candidate wishes to take advantage of this service and/or would like to make an appointment to deliver his/her papers, he/she should contact the Elections Team on 01934 634909.  Appointments will be limited so candidates are advised to book appointments as soon as possible (further information to follow).

If a candidate is not sure if he/she is able to stand, he/she should contact the Electoral Commission or seek his/her own legal advice.

Please note that the nominations deadline is the same for all elections being held on 2 May, so it would be helpful if nominations could be delivered as early as possible.

(v) Withdrawal of Candidature

If, having submitted a nomination, a candidate wishes to withdraw his/her candidature, he/she must do so by 4pm on Wednesday 3 April (i.e. the same time/date as delivery of nominations).  This requires a signed notice to such effect, attested by one witness, delivered by hand to the Returning Officer, again available on the Electoral Commission website

If no withdrawal is received by that time, candidates will remain nominated and be part of the election process.

(vi) Statement of Persons Nominated (publication date no later than 4pm on 4 April)

Details of nominations received will appear in the form of another notice – the Statement of Persons Nominated.

Clerks will be sent a copy of the notice for their parish/town council as soon as possible after the close of nominations.  This notice must be published on Noticeboards no later than 4pm on Thursday 4 April.  Please display/distribute as for the notice of election.

At this stage, we will provide more information on the process for each council, dependent upon the number of nominations received.  The options can be summarised as follows:-

If there are more nominations than seats, an election will take place on 2 May.

If there are fewer nominations than seats but there are sufficient candidates to enable the council to be quorate, any validly nominated candidates will be elected unopposed and the new council will be able to co-opt to fill the remaining seats (a formal co-option process, including the advertisement of the vacancies, is recommended).  N.B.  The council quorum is three or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater (fractions are rounded up).

If there are insufficient nominations for the quorum figure to be achieved, any validly-nominated candidates will be elected unopposed, but a new election will be run to seek further nominations.  If this happens, clerks will be advised of the procedure.

(vii) Notice of Poll (publication date 24 April 2019)

If there is to be a contested election, clerks will be sent a copy of the notice of poll for their parish/town council for publication by no later than Wednesday 24 April.

If there are the same number of candidates as seats, or fewer candidates than seats, we will provide a notice of uncontested election (for publication by the same deadline).

Please display/distribute as for the notice of election.

(viii) North Somerset Council Elections – Display of Notices

Similar notices will need to be published and displayed in connection with the North Somerset Council elections (on a ward basis).

I should therefore be grateful if you could publish these notices alongside your parish notices – we will send you the district notices at the same time as the parish ones, but these only need to be displayed on your parish/town notice-board(s).

(ix) Election Day

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 2 May 2019.

A list of polling stations will be sent to you once they have been confirmed.

(x) The Count

The verification of ballot papers for all elections will take place after the close of poll and continue into the night on 2/3 May.

The counting of the votes for the North Somerset Council elections will start at 9.30am on Friday 3 May.  The count for any parish/town council elections will follow after and, whilst timing for this cannot be guaranteed, it is not anticipated that this will begin before noon on that day.

All verification and counting will take place at the Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston-super-Mare.

Further details about the verification and count will be issued to candidates and agents after the close of nominations.

(xiv) Updates

Further updates will be issued over the ensuing weeks but if you have any queries in the meantime, please do contact the Elections Team using one of the following methods:-

Telephone: 01934 634909

Email: electoral.services@n-somerset.gov.uk

Website: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

You can also visit www.gov.uk/yourvotematters  for information on how to register and vote.