Parish and Town Councillors
Last Updated: 4 September 2023
Parish and town councillors are elected at scheduled elections for a four year term.
If a councillor resigns during their four year term, the vacancy may be filled by a by-election (if there are more people interested in becoming a councillor than there are available vacancies) or by co-option (if the number of people interested is equal to the number of vacancies).
Finding more information about your parish council
Parish clerks can provide information on their current councillors.
Cumbria Association of Local Councils
The Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) has detailed information about Cumbrian parish and town councils. CALC also provide advice, training and representation for local parish councils.
Procedure for temporary appointments of parish and town councillors
Each parish council has a set number of councillors needed to operate:
- if there are enough councillors, the council is quorate
- if there are not enough councillors, the councillor is inquorate and temporary appointments may be made to make it quorate
There is a procedure for making temporary appointments. This procedure was approved by the South Lakeland District Council's (SLDC) Annual Council Meeting on 18 May 2016 and is in accordance with Section 9 of the Local Government Act 1972.
The procedure is as follows:
- The parish clerk will advise the Council (SLDC) that their parish or town council is unable to operate because it's inquorate
- The electoral services department will check if the parish or council is inquorate, and then identify how many councillors would be needed to make it quorate
- The district councillors and county councillors covering the parish or town council area will be offered a temporary appointment to that parish or town council, until the vacancies are filled by an election
- Some parish and town councils are separated into wards. If the parish wards fall within two different district council wards, the district councillors covering the town or parish council ward in question will be offered the temporary appointment
- If the temporary appointment isn't taken up by a district or county councillor, and the parish or town council remains inquorate, the Chief Executive of SLDC will consult with the leader of SLDC to consider the way forward. This may involve district ward members for the areas next to the parish or town council in question
- All appointments must be made by Order under Section 91(9) of the Local Government Act 1972
- A report with the details of the actions taken will be submitted to the next SLDC Council meeting
- The Chief Executive will forward two copies of the Order to the Secretary of State. This is in accordance with Section 91(3) of the Local Government Act 1972. A copy will also be sent to the parish clerk for their information
- The Order will state the names of the appointed persons and the latest date their appointment will expire
Parish Remuneration Panel
The South Lakeland Parish Remuneration Panel is an independent panel that considers councillor allowances. The Panel is made up of four members of the public and makes recommendations on the remuneration (allowances) for parish and town councillors.