The Electoral Register

We produce an electoral register every year which is published on 1 December. From 2014, the register is compiled by individual registration, rather than by households. As a parish or town council you are entitled to a copy of the electoral register for your town or parish, contact the Elections team if you would like a copy.

District, town and parish elections

District and borough councils are required to appoint a returning officer (RO) for the election of any ward, town or parish councillors in their local authority area. As part of that role we are responsible for the administration of parish elections, including:       

  • receiving nominations      
  • the provision of polling stations        
  • the appointment of presiding officers and clerks       
  • management of the postal voting process        
  • the verification and counting of votes

Parish and town councils are responsible for meeting the cost of their own elections, although these costs are shared when elections are combined with other council or national elections.

We provide briefings for parish and town clerks, councillors and candidates ahead of scheduled elections, usually in February, at which the arrangements for each election are explained.

Parish polls

We are also responsible for the administration of parish polls that are called. A poll may be requested before the end of a parish meeting on any question arising from that meeting. However, the poll will only go ahead if the person presiding at the meeting consents to it or if the poll is requested by 10 people or one third of the local government electors present (whichever is the less).

The parish meeting does not vote on whether or not to have the poll once this call has been made but the meeting does vote on the question which is to be asked in the poll and each local government elector present may give one vote and no more on any question. The wording of the question is important, as the response to the question should either be 'yes' or 'no'. Once the wording has been agreed at the meeting it cannot be changed.

The returning officer must then be informed and preparations made for the poll. Polling takes place between 4pm and 9pm on the specified date, which will be between 14 and 25 days after the poll was demanded.

A count of the votes will follow polling. The outcome of the poll is an expression of the view of the electorate of the parish who have voted in the poll. It is not binding.

For further information or guidance regarding electoral matters contact our Elections team.