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Become a Parish Councillor

Do you want to do more for our community?

As a Parish Councillor, you could help to look after, and improve, many of the facilities in our parish. See What the Parish Council Does.

There are 2 vacancies on the Parish Council at present. The next full elections for the Parish Council, when all nine seats again come up for election, will be in May 2023.

The Parish Council often has projects on the go. Additional help is always welcome. If you think you might be interested in joining the Council in future, getting involved in one of our projects could be a good way to find out more about what we do and how we do it.

What’s Involved?

You can spend a lot of time on council work – but most people have jobs, families and hobbies that also demand a lot of time. However, as with most things, the more you put in, the more you (and our community) will get out.

Our Parish Council meets 12 times a year, on the forth Tuesday of the month.

You should also attend the Annual Parish Meeting which is normally held on a midweek evening in late April.

You will be invited to join one or more of the Parish Council’s committees, which look after Highways and Byways, Planning, Playing Fields, and Finance and Admin. These committees hold occasional meetings but work increasingly by email. Site visits are needed from time to time, for example to keep an eye on play equipment or new developments.

Much of what the Council does is common sense, but we do run a short introduction session for new councillors.

When can I apply to become a councillor?

All nine seats on the Parish Council come up for election every four years. The elections are held on the same day as District Council elections, almost always the first Thursday in May.

Sometimes, vacancies occur between elections, for example through resignation or moving away. These are known as “casual vacancies”. A casual vacancy must be advertised on the notice boards and elsewhere. Local electors have the opportunity to call for a by-election. If a by-election is not called, the Parish Council should fill the vacancy by co-option.

See “Part 6: Guide to filling a Casual Vacancy in the Office of Parish Councillor” of the Governance Toolkit for Parish & Town Councils.

For those interested in joining the Parish Council, See the Vacancy Notice for more details.

How do I apply to stand in an election, by-election or get co-opted

You need to complete a fairly straightforward nomination form (available from our clerk). It must be signed by your proposer and seconder, and witnessed.

Then submit it to the Electoral Services Unit of South Gloucestershire Council during office hours . You can post your nomination papers, but it’s a good idea to make an appointment with the Electoral Services Manager to have your nomination papers checked before submission.

How do I apply for co-option to the Parish Council?

Co-option is a less formal process than election.

The Parish Council may fill vacant seats on the Council by co-option

When seats on the Council remain unfilled after the four-yearly election (because fewer than nine valid nominations were submitted), or

After a “casual vacancy” is created, for example by resignation of a councillor, and if, after the vacancy has been officially advertised, a by-election process has not been formally requested by 10 electors.

When the Parish Council has a vacancy which it is seeking to fill by co-option, if you want to put your name forward, or if you would like more information about what’s involved, contact the Clerk clerk@olvestonparishcouncil.gov.uk .

Co-option Vacancy Application form

See Casual Vacancy and Co-option Process on our Governance Documents page for details of the process. 

Who can apply?

You must be:

a British subject or Irish citizen,

18 years of age or over, and

either in the list of electors for the Parish or, during the whole of the preceding twelve months,

(i) have occupied land in the parish as owner or tenant, or

(ii) had a principal place of work here, or

(iii) resided in or within three miles of it.

Other information

Our Parish Council is strictly non party-political.

Canvassing: Parish Councillors can choose to distribute flyers about themselves before the elections. This is not required, but you may think it helpful to make yourself known to the electors.  Bear in mind that those voting by post may cast their votes well in advance of the actual polling day. There are rules governing the costs of canvassing and leaflets, The rules are not unduly onerous, but any flyer or leaflet does need to say who published it and who printed it.

More information and forms: for more information about the process or how the Council works, contact our Clerk, on 01454 806186 or email clerk@olvestonparishcouncil.gov.uk

Any of the current councillors would be happy to talk to you.

Other sources:

The Electoral Commission – information for candidates, voters and others

CPALC: Becoming a Parish Councillor