Parish Council casual vacancies and Parish polls

Parish Council casual vacancies and Parish polls

A vacancy may arise on the Parish Council for the following reasons:

  • Death
  • Disqualification
  • Resignation
  • Failure to take up office
  • Failure to attend meetings
  • Election declared void following an election petition

Notice advertising a Parish Council vacancy

A public notice advertising the vacancy on the Parish Council must be displayed by the Parish Clerk for fourteen days excluding dies non1, which are Saturdays, Sundays, Good Friday and any other bank holiday.

If a request in writing is received from any ten local government electors whom are on the register at the time of the request for the said Parish, an election to fill the vacancy will be held within sixty days (excluding dies non1) from the date publication of the notice. If no such request is made, the vacancy will be filled through co-option by the Parish Council.

However if a vacancy occurs within six months of the scheduled Parish elections (held every four years) then an election would not be held unless the total number of unfilled vacancies exceeds one third of the total membership of the Parish Council.

Parish Polls

A poll takes place as a result of a parish or community meeting and its purpose is to ascertain whether the opinion of the meeting reflects that of the majority of electors in the parish. Polls can be held in respect of a particular question or of an appointment of office. It is important to note that the result is in no way binding on the parish. The provisions for parish polls are contained in Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


  • What is a Parish Poll?
    It is a poll requested by the parishioners of an electoral area to obtain the opinion of electors on a particular question(s) or appointment of office. 
  • Who can request a Poll?
    Either ten electors or one third of electors present and voting at the parish meeting.
  • How will I know when a Parish Poll is taking place?
    A notice will be displayed in the parish not less than five days before the Poll.
  • Will I receive a Poll card?
    No – there are no provisions in the Regulations for poll cards to be issued.
  • What time is the polling station open?
    Polling stations will be open from 4pm until 9pm on the day of the Poll.
  • Can I vote by post or proxy?
    No – there are no provisions in the Regulations for the issue of postal votes or the appointment of proxies. All electors must vote in person at the polling station.
  • How do I vote?
    You will be given a ballot paper at the polling station which has a question on it. You will be asked to vote yes or no by marking an ‘x’ in the relevant box.
  • What happens after the Poll?
    A Parish Poll is carried out to merely to obtain the opinion of the parish and the result is not legally binding on the Parish or Town Council. 
  • Where will the results be displayed?
    The results will be posted on the District Council website and the Parish council website where available. The results will also be posted on the District and Parish Councils' notice boards.
  • Who pays for the Parish Poll?
    North Kesteven District Council will recharge the relevant Parish or Town Council under Section 150 (2 and 7) of the Local Government Act 1972.

1 Dies Non: A day on which no legal business can be done, or which does not count for legal purposes.