Elections/Becoming a councillor
Could you be a councillor? Want to make a difference to your community? We need good candidates from all sectors of the community - you don't need to be a member of a political party but you can be. If you are interested in standing for election please contact the Town Clerk and find out more about what is involved. We can provide information and guidance about the responsibilities of councillors, about the practical arrangements, how much work is involved and the benefits and disadvantages of taking public office. Our existing councillors are happy to share their experiences and put you in contact with members from other councils, explain the training involved and the ways you would be involved in making decisions and advocating for Sandy.
Elections to the Town Council are held on a four year cycle. At the end of the four year term all the seats are vacated and elections held. The next elections will be in May 2019.
Any vacancies that occur during the four year term are known as 'casual vacancies'. They are filled either by means of a by-election or by the process of co-option. Casual vacancies are notified to the community by public notices and and following this if 10 electors demand an election then one will be held. If this doesn’t happen ( if or there are insufficient candidates for seats at an election) the council may fill the vacancies by co-option in other words the councillors choose someone to fill the vacancy.
In the event of a co-option being necessary this fact will be advertised and individuals invited to apply. A written application form explaining why the applicant would like to become a member of Sandy Town Council and what skills they have is usually required. The applicants generally attend a public meeting as part of the process though it is possible to co-opt an applicant who is not present. The decision to co-opt a suitable applicant will always be made by resolution of the council within a public meeting. If more than one applicant for co-option is proposed as suitable then a vote may take place to determine which applicant is co-opted. An applicant for co-option in these circumstances must secure an absolute majority of those present and voting, however the procedure is always a co-option and not an election. The council is not required to propose or co-opt any applicant they consider to be unsuitable even if there are no alternative candidates.
Town Councillors are unpaid and give their time freely to the community on a voluntary basis. They must be over 18 and a British national or a qualifying citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Community. Their job is to represent the interests of whole community. Information about what is expected of councillors is contained in the Good Councillor's Guide (4th edition) which you can see below.
Town Council elections are supervised by the Returning Officer at Central Bedfordshire Council and paid for by the Town Council. Town Council co-options are managed by the Town Council itself in accordance with statutory procedures and good practice guidance. For more information about the processes involved please contact the Town Clerk.