This “hub” is provided by P4L as a resource for anyone considering standing as a candidate to the Ludlow Town Elections. It brings together in one place useful information and ways of contacting the various bodies involved.
If you have any questions at all about this, email us here.
A statement from P4L giving their views on the future direction of the Town Council can be downloaded from here.
THE ELECTION will be held on 4th May 2017. There are 15 positions for councillors spread over seven wards in Ludlow (two in each ward , except for Gallows Bank which has three). Councillors serve for four years unless they decide to resign.
This election is managed by the “Returning Officer”, who is legally responsible for the election process. For this election, the Returning Officer is a member of staff of Shropshire Council. Information from the Returning Officer can be found here. This includes an information document for the process. (Note that the “Important Nomination Deposit Notice” in the index to this document refers to the deposit of papers, not to any financial deposit.)
The “Rules” for the election are set by the Electoral Commission, who publish a full set of guidance documents (including eligibility to stand , expense management etc.). This link will take you to the part of their website dealing with the May 4th local elections.
Election Day : 4th May 2017
•Notice of Election : 13th March 2017
•Close of Nominations : 4th April 2017 at 4pm
•Close of Withdrawals : 4th April 2017 at 4pm
The Statement of Persons Nominated will be made by the Returning Officer on –5th April 2017 at 4pm
WHAT IS INVOLVED
There is a lot of guidance available about “being a councillor”. A good starting point is the “Good Councillor’s Guide”, a handbook published by the National Association of Local Councils, can be downloaded from here.
There is a lot of information on the Ludlow Town Council site, which we have summarised below:
- A presentation from Ludlow Town Council given at the meeting on Jan 12th, covering what the council does and is responsible for, the roles of Councillors and the Town Clerk and other useful information can be downloaded from here.
- For comparison, a summary of what Shropshire Council does can be downloaded from here.
- A copy of the current Code of Conduct for Ludlow Town Councillors (including some advice on Conflict of Interest, pecuniary or otherwise) can be downloaded from here
What are POWERS OF COMPETENCE?
Power of Competence (sometimes called General Power of Competence (or PoC/GPC) are a recent addition to the powers that a town council can exercise, first introduced in 2012.
Simply put, it gives councils the power to do anything an
individual can do provided it is not prohibited by other legislation.
For a town council, this opens the way to other forms of fundraising and service provision, to name but two.
BUT (as ever) there are some conditions before a council can exercise these powers:
Firstly, at least two-thirds of the council must “have been declared elected”, which means that they must have stood (even if unopposed) in an election and not been co-opted, and secondly, the Town Clerk must have a specified level of qualification in Local Government – we understand that this is already being progressed.
IF NOT ENOUGH CANDIDATES STAND IN ALL THE WARDS THEN PoC CANNOT BE EXERCISED, WHICH LIMITS THE CAPABILITY OF THE COUNCIL.
A guidance booklet on PoC from the Local Government Association can be downloaded from here.
Ludlow Town Council policy on co-option can be found here. (Please ignore the information relevant to the last co-option cycle.)
In general, “Standing Orders” is a document that describes how any committee or similar body should conduct itself in its day-to-day meetings. Town Councils are no exception. They provide a framework which the chair of the meeting (the Mayor or Deputy Mayor for the Town Council) can use to ensure that proper debate and decision making take place.
Standing Orders are not of, OF THEMSELVES, enshrined in law. However, since the council is a public body, Standing Orders must ensure that the council operates within the law. It is for the body concerned to construct and review its own Standing Orders from time to time to ensure that they are still fit for purpose.