Parish councillors hold office for a period of four years, or if elected part way through the cycle, for the remainder of that period only. They retire on the fourth day after the ordinary day of election. The newly elected councillors take office (provided they have made declarations of acceptance of office) on the day on which their predecessors retire (Local Government Act, 1972, Section 16(3)). The chair of a parish council continues in office until their successor becomes entitled to act in that capacity.
The next ordinary elections for Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council will take place in May 2027.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) are responsible for organising elections in the borough and details of becoming a nominee can be found here
Important dates and deadlines for the May 2027 local elections will be shown in the table below nearer the date:
|Activity||Date and time|
|Publication of Notice of Election||March|
|Delivery of nomination papers||end March – beginning April|
|Close of Nominations||April|
|Deadline for withdrawals of nomination||April|
|Publication of statement of persons nominated||April|
|Deadline for receiving applications for registration||April|
|Deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications, and for changes to existing postal or postal proxy votes||April|
|Deadline for Voter Authority Certificate applications||April|
|Deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies)||April|
|Deadline for notification of appointment of polling and counting agents||April|
|First date electors can apply for a replacement for lost/spoilt postal votes||April|
|Last time electors can apply for a replacement for spoilt or lost postal votes||5pm on polling day|
|Deadline for emergency proxy applications||5pm on polling day|
|Delivery of return as to election expenses (Parish council elections)||Not later than 28 calendar days after the date of election|
|Delivery of return as to election expenses (Borough election)||Not later than 35 calendar days after the date of the election result is declared|
There is currently a Casual Vacancy. To view the Notice, click here
A casual vacancy on Parish Council may arise for a number of reasons for example, a Councillor has designed, passed away, or they have failed to attend any meetings for 6 months.
Casual vacancies will be filled either by means of holding a by-election or by co-opting a new Councillor to fill the vacancy. Co-option is only permitted once the vacancy has been formally advertised, to allow local electors the opportunity to call a by-election if so desired.
Firstly, the Parish Council must advertise the vacancy. This should be done by displaying a notice on noticeboards in the parish. A copy of that notice must be sent immediately to the Returning Officer at TWBC The parish council may also advertise the vacancy in any other manner they wish. (Clerks must inform the Elections Office at TWBC).
It is important to complete the notice correctly, paying particular attention to the dates on the notice. It must be displayed for 14 days from the date of the notice, and when calculating the dates, it must not include weekends nor bank holidays.
Filling the Vacancy by Election
During the 14 days when the notice is displayed, ten electors from within the parish (or relevant ward of the parish) can call for a by-election to be held. To do this, they will need to make their request in writing to The Returning Officer at TWBC.
In the event of this happening, TWBC will notify the clerk. The Returning Officer will decide on the date of the election, which must fall within 60 working days from the date of the notice of vacancy.
In the case of a casual vacancy occurring within six months before the day on which that councillor would regularly have retired, an election is not held. The parish council may co-opt a person to fill the vacancy, but any vacancy not so filled, shall be filled at the next ordinary election.
Filling the Vacancy by Co-option
If an election is not requested, the clerk will be notified that the Parish Council must co-opt a member to fill the vacancy as soon as practicable.
The Clerk will advertise the casual vacancy, specifying the date by which prospective candidates must write to the clerk expressing their interests in the vacancy.
Notice of the election by co-option should be given in the agenda for the meeting of the parish council. When the item is reached, the chairman should call for nominations, which should be duly proposed and seconded.
Candidates can be either interviewed, or their letter of interest read out to those present at the parish council meeting.