A 'Foundation' Council

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Parish councillors are elected by the public and serve four-year terms. Following elections, councils appoint a chair, or town mayor in town councils. Parish councillors were unpaid positions until 2004 when allowance schemes were introduced to encourage more people to stand. Allowances, which tend not to be very large are at the discretion of the individual councils and they often choose to maintain a strictly unpaid status.

The Nomination and Election process are detailed here.

The Election Procedure

Ordinary elections of local councillors take place on the first Thursday in May every four years. For most local councils election year was 2015 then it will be 2019 etc. but where the principal authority (county, district and unitary authority) councillor is elected in some other year that is also the year of the local council election. Reorganisation of local government may cause alteration of the election day and election year in some cases.

Nomination process

A prospective candidate must deliver to the Returning Officer at Chelmsford City Council a valid nomination paper. This form is obtained from the Officer. The candidate’s surname, forenames, residence and description (if required) must be entered and his or her number and prefix letter from the current register of electors. The Returning Officer has a copy of this register, and the clerk of the local council normally has one.

The nomination paper must also contain similar particulars of a proposer and a seconder. They must be electors for the area for which the candidate seeks election (i.e. the parish, community or town or the ward if it is divided into wards): they must sign it.


To stand for Parish council elections you must be 18 years old on the day of nomination and either a:

  • British citizen
  • citizen of the Republic of Ireland
  • citizen of a Commonwealth country who has permission to stay long-term in the UK
  • citizen of a country in the European Union

You must also have either:

  • registered as a local government elector within the Parish or Parish Ward area.
  • rented or owned land in the Parish or Parish Ward for 12 months before your nomination
  • had your main employment within the Parish or Parish Ward area for 12 months before your nomination
  • lived in the parish or within three miles of it for the 12 months before your nomination

You must also have the support of at least two electors for the Parish or

Parish Ward in which you are going to stand.

When we have received your request for a nomination pack we will send you:

  • a nomination form
  • a form for you to consent to the nomination


If you are standing for a registered political party, you will need a certificate from the party giving you permission to stand on their behalf.

You must return the completed nomination pack to the Returning Officer at the Civic Centre at least 19 working days before the election.


You cannot stand as a candidate for any Council elections if you:

  • are an employee of the Council for which you are standing
  • are an employee of any local authority in a politically restricted post
  • are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
  • have been convicted and received a prison sentence of three or more months in the five years prior to the election day are disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices in elections


¨ Influence planning

¨ Reduce fear of crime

¨ Provision of recreational & youth facilities

¨ Decide how much public money the Council should spend on and on what

¨ Choose who should represent your community

¨ Get the best Council possible


Electoral Services, Chelmsford City Council
Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford