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Brickhill Electoral Information
All councils are led by democratically elected councillors who set the vision and direction, and represent their local community.
Councillors are elected to the local council to represent their own local community (see qualifying conditions below).
Each councillor has their own reasons for running but the role offers the chance to make a huge difference to the quality of life for people in your local area. Being an effective councillor requires both commitment and hard work. Councillors have to balance the needs and interests of residents, the political party they represent (if any) and the council.
The councillor’s role centres around community leadership and engagement, responsibilities include:
- representing the ward for which they are elected
- decision-making – developing and reviewing council policy
- scrutinising decisions
- regulatory and statutory duties
Our Parish Council’s strength lies in its’ diversity and together we really do make a difference to our community.
Brickhill’s Electoral Wards
Our Parish is divided into wards for electoral, administrative and representational purposes. Eligible electors vote in whichever parish ward they live for candidates they wish to represent them on the parish council. There are 15 seats available across the parish plus 4 Borough Councillors.
The map outlines the boundaries and various wards that make up our parish. The following chart is self-explanatory and provides a breakdown of the number of parish councillors representing each ward.
Elections and Membership
The term of office of a parish councillor is four years, and council seats are elected en bloc through a First past the post system like some other UK elections by secret ballot. The legislation provides that the number of elected members of a parish council shall not be less than five. Larger parishes like our own, can be divided into parish wards, with separate elections for each ward.
The timing of the election cycle is usually linked to that of the election of a district councillor for the ward containing the parish. Where the elections to a district council are delayed or cancelled, the term of a parish council may be extended to match the next elections to the new authority.
A candidate must be at least one of the following:
- A UK or Commonwealth citizen
- Citizen of the Republic of Ireland
- Citizen of another member state of the European Union
and candidates must state on their consent for nomination form their qualification for election, which must be at least one of the following:
- they are an elector of the parish
- during the whole of the last 12 months they have occupied, either as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the parish.
- their principal or only place of work is in the parish
- they live within 4.8 kilometres (3 miles) of the parish boundary
The chairman of the last council shall remain in office, even if not elected to the newly constituted council, until a new chairman is appointed at the first meeting of the new council.
Where there are an equal number or fewer candidates than there are vacancies, all candidates are elected unopposed, and no poll is taken. Where there are fewer candidates than vacant seats, the parish council has the power to coopt any person or persons to fill the vacancies. This power, however, may only be exercised if there is a quorum of councillors present and within 35 days of the election.
If the parish council fails to fill the vacancies within this period, the district council may dissolve it and order fresh elections. If there is not a quorum elected the district council must dissolve it and order fresh elections.
Where there are more candidates than vacancies in a particular ward, then a poll must be held and the appropriate arrangements made.
If a vacancy occurs during the term of a parish council, it may be filled by either election or co-option. Elections only occur if, following the advertisement of the vacancy for 14 days, 10 electors send a written request to the returning officer. If no request is received, the parish council will be required to fill the vacancies by co-option. If vacancy occurs within 6 months of a scheduled election, then a by-election cannot be called, but the council has the power to co-opt. The nomination qualifications required of a candidate for co-option are the same as for those for election.
If the number of vacancies on the parish council is such that there is no longer a quorum, the district council may temporarily appoint persons to bring the council up to strength in the interval prior to an election.
See also our page on Filling A Parish Council Vacancy
These are the normal Polling Stations. But please check your ballot paper for exact details because things often change.
Brickhill East Ward
Dove Road, Brickhill, MK41 7AA
Brickhill South & West Wards
79 Brickhill Dr, Bedford MK41 7QF
Brickhill South & West Wards
Hawk Drive, Bedford MK41 7JA
Brickhill North Ward
Avon Drive, Bedford MK41 7AF
Woodlands Park Ward
Bramley Way, Bedford MK41 7GD