Forms of nomination for Parish Elections may be obtained from Clerks to Parish Councils or Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HY from the Returning Officer who will, at the request of an elector for any electoral area prepare a nomination paper for signature.
Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HY on any day from the date of this notice but no later than 4pm on Tuesday 4 April 2023.
If any election is contested, the poll will take place on Thursday 4 May 2023.
Applications to register to vote must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HY by midnight on Monday 17 April 2023. Applications can be made online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HY by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April 2023.
New applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HY by 5pm on Tuesday, 25April 2023.
Applications for a Voter Authority Certificate or an Anonymous Elector’s Document valid for this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on Tuesday, 25 April 2023. Applications for a Voter Authority Certificate can be made online at voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk.
Applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HY by 5pm on Thursday, 4 May 2023.
Are you passionate about your community? Do you want to help make a long-lasting change? Do you have innovative ideas for the Council? Do you have concerns about a specific issue and want to do something about it? If this is you, then we need you. We need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect their community to put themselves forward for election.
Make a change and become a councillor.
Some of our Town Councillors give us an insight into why they became a Councillor and give advice to prospective Councillors.
If you live in Keighley, this May you will have the chance to have your say on who represents you on Keighley Town Council. Below you can find out more about what the Town Council does and how you can stand to be a Town Councillor.
What does Keighley Town Council do?
Keighley Town Council is the first tier of local government and run a number of services in Keighley. For example, managing allotments, managing the Civic Centre, maintaining Town Hall Square, maintain the Town’s war memorials, public seating, managing open spaces, setting up local community groups, organising events, awarding grants to support community organisations and charities, creating neighbourhood plans and much more.
Councillors are elected every 4 years to represent local residents on the Town Council.
Town councillors have varied areas of work which can include:
-Through attending meetings and committees with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.
-As local representatives, councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations. These responsibilities often depend on what a given councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available.
-Attending meetings of bodies that affect the wider community, such as the police, the Highways Authority, schools and colleges.
-Running surgery for residents to bring up issues.
-Councillors ensure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.
-Going to meetings of local organisations and community groups.
-Taking up issues on behalf of public members, such as making representations to the principal authority.
-Meeting with individual residents.
What is the time commitment?
NALC’s Local Councillor Census Survey found that councillors put aside, on average, three hours a week for council work. Council work often includes attending meetings, engaging with residents and speaking to local groups and bodies on behalf of the Council.
What title will I have?
An elected member of a town council is called a councillor, abbreviated to Cllr. Conventionally you will be known as, for example, “Cllr. Bob Smith” or “Cllr. Mrs Jane Smith”. You can use your title whenever you act, or wish to give the impression of acting, for the Town Council.
What happens if I stand but am not elected?
As in any contested democratic process there is a risk of not winning. If the number of persons nominated is less than or equal to the number of places available, then the election is uncontested and you are automatically elected. If there are more candidates than places and you don’t win enough votes on Election Day then you will have lost the election. Some people may feel awkward about this, particularly as the people voting are quite often your friends, neighbours and community associates, however there is no shame in losing a contested election – it’s part and parcel of public life and there will be other opportunities to get on to the Council, either at the next election or if a vacancy crops up. Don’t let the fear of losing stop you from putting yourself forward. Just think of what you could achieve if you knew you couldn’t fail!
What support is there for newly elected councillors?
Being a councillor is a respected and valued role in a community. There is lots of support available to councillors, from training and development courses run by the Yorkshire Local Councils Association to representation by the National Association of Local Councils, based in London.
Councillors would in the first instance seek assistance from fellow colleagues and the Town Clerk (Council’s Chief Officer).
Keighley Town Council will be developing a training programme to make sure that new councillors understand their role. The support and continuous professional development of councillors is open-ended.
Can I get out of it if it’s not for me?
Yes. You can withdraw your nomination if you decide before the election that you don’t want to go through with it. If you are elected and decide subsequently that council life is not for you then you are free to resign at any time. However, be warned that when you start to make a real difference to community life and see the benefits that being a councillor can bring to you and your community it may just suck you in for life!
Am I personally liable for anything as a councillor?
Generally speaking, no. The Council is a corporate body, which means that in law it has an identity separate to that of its members. Anything that the Council decides to do by resolution is the action of the corporate body and any land, property, leases and other contracts are in the name of the Council. The exception would be in extreme cases of negligence where an individual councillor has acted contrary to Council policy, which may lead to personal liability.
Will my employer support me if I need time off for council business in work time?
Yes. You are allowed reasonable time off to go to meetings or to carry out your duties. The time must be agreed with your employer beforehand and your employer can refuse your request if it is unreasonable. A specific amount of time off is not laid down in law. Your employer doesn’t have to pay you while you take time off for public duties, although many do. Your employment contract will normally say whether you are paid for this time off
Does it take up a lot of time?
It can, but it doesn’t have to. You will be required to attend meetings of the Full Council (monthly or bi-monthly) which are normally 2 to 3 hours long. You should be well-prepared for meetings and preparation can sometimes take longer than the meeting itself! If you are really getting your teeth in to Council business you may put yourself forward for Council committees which will involve further meetings and preparation. Quite often councillors say that their duties occupy them for about three hours a week.
How do I stand to be a Town Councillor?
To be eligible to stand as a candidate at a town council election in England you must: -Be at least 18 years old -Be a British citizen, Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union
Meet at least one of the following four qualifications: -You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector in the parish in which in which you wish to stand -You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish area during the last 12 months -Your main or only place of work during the last 12 months is in the parish area in which you would like to stand. -You have lived in the parish, or within three miles of it, during the whole of the previous 12 months.
Apart from meeting the above qualifications, you must also not be disqualified. A full range of disqualifications can be found in the Can you stand for election? guidance from the Electoral Commission.
Standing as an independent candidate
If you wish to stand as an independent candidate, you must submit the following three papers to be a valid candidate: -a nomination paper -a home address form -your consent to nomination
If you wish to stand as a candidate of behalf of a registered political party, the party must be registered on the Electoral Commission’s register of political parties. You must submit the following papers to be a valid candidate: -a nomination paper -a home address form -your consent to nomination -a certificate authorising you to use the party name or a registered description on the ballot paper. a written request to use one of the party’s emblems (if you would like one to appear on the ballot paper)
You may choose for your home address not to be published on the statement of persons nominated and the ballot paper. In this case, you must complete the relevant section on the home address form, which forms part of the nomination pack.
What description can I use?
If you are standing as an independent candidate, you can either: -leave it blank -use the word “Independent” -use a description of no more than six words to appear on the ballot paper. It can be any description providing it is sufficient to identify you and is unlikely to associate you with a political party. For example “Farmer”, “Baker in the High Street”, “Member of village action team” etc.
If you are standing as a political candidate you can either: -leave it blank -use the name of the political party -use one of the registered descriptions
If you are standing on behalf of two political parties, you may use a joint description as registered with the Electoral Commission. In that case, you will need authorisation from the Nominating Officer for each of the registered parties.
What is the deadline to deliver my nomination papers?
The deadline to deliver your nomination papers is 4.00pm on Tuesday 4 April. Nomination papers received after this deadline will not be accepted. Please note: Nomination papers can only be accepted once the Notice of Election has been published, which will be on Thursday 23 March.
Where do I deliver my papers? Nomination papers must be delivered by hand to Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford BD1 1HY. Nomination papers delivered electronically will not be accepted. The time for delivery is not later than 4pm, on Tuesday 4th April 2023. Please note that the time constraint is absolute, and no papers can be accepted after 4pm, on Tuesday 4th April 2023.
If there is a contest for a Town Council ward, the Statement of Persons Nominated will list all of the candidates standing for election. This will be available from 4pm on Wednesday 5 April 2023.
When are poll cards going out?
Poll cards will be going out to residents from the end of March. Your poll card will tell you the location of your polling station, along with a map. Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm. Some polling stations have changed, so please check your poll card before you leave.
Am I registered to vote?
If you have received a poll card, then you are registered to vote. If you voted in the last election and you have not moved property since, then you should still be registered to vote. If you are not sure, you can call Bradford MDC Election Services on 01274 432287.
If you have recently moved property, or recently turned 18 then you can apply to register to vote by going to www.gov.uk/registertovote.
The deadline to register to vote in time for the elections on 4 May 2023 is midnight on Monday 17 April 2023
Do I have to show photographic ID in order to vote in a polling station?
Yes. The UK Government has introduced a new requirement for polling station voters to show photographic ID in the polling station before they are issued with a ballot paper. Further details can be found on Bradford MDC voter ID webpage.
If you are not here on Thursday 4 May then you can either apply for a postal vote or appoint a proxy (where someone you trust votes on your behalf). Both methods of voting require an application form and they must be received before a deadline. To apply to vote by post, you do not need to show photo ID. However, if you appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf, then the proxy will be required to show their photo ID in the polling station.
The deadline for postal vote applications is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April. Forms can either be scanned and emailed to email@example.com or sent in the post to Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford BD1 1HY. Applications received after the deadline will not be processed.
The deadline for proxy vote applications is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April. Forms can either be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent in the post to Electoral Services, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Bradford BD1 1HY. Applications received after the deadline will not be processed.
When will my postal vote be dispatched?
For existing postal voters, all postal vote packs will be despatched around the middle of April. All other postal vote packs will be despatched shortly after.
Listen to our Podcast on Keighley Town Council and the work of a Council.
Episode 1 – Meet the Town Clerk, Joe Cooney, and hear about the work of a Council.