To all Parish Council Clerks in the East Northamptonshire area
I thought it would be helpful to outline the arrangements we’re putting in place over the next few months in terms of the elections that are taking place on 6th May 2021.
Rob Bridge (Chief Executive of North Northamptonshire Council) will be the Returning Officer for the elections to the new North Northamptonshire Council as well as the local Parish and Town Councils. The elections will be delivered collaboratively across the four local authority areas making up the North Northamptonshire area. Each local office within North Northants will administer the election process for the wards/towns/parishes in their area with the process culminating in a centralised count at Kettering Conference Centre. The count for the new North Northamptonshire Council will take place on Friday 7th May 2021 with counts for Towns, Parishes and Neighbourhood Planning Referendums scheduled to take place on Saturday 8th May 2021.
Anyone intending to stand for election should check the Notice of Election for the area where they intend to stand for details of the times and locations where the nomination papers must be delivered. Copies of nomination papers may be downloaded from https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/local-elections-england for election to wards representing the new North Northamptonshire Council or https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-council-elections-england for parish council elections by navigating to the relevant resources section. Paper copies of Nomination papers will also be available from local election offices from 8th March 2021. Please liaise with the elections team in East Northamptonshire, as usual, for this election to make arrangements for delivery/collection. Please note that changes have been made to the subscriber requirements for the North Northamptonshire Council elections. The number of subscribers required will change to a proposer and seconder only and this has been reflected in the new nomination paper template.
In light of the current Covid 19 situation additional safety measures will be in place to maintain the safety and security of all those involved in the nomination process. Visitors delivering nomination papers will be asked to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering unless an exemption applies. Visitors will also be requested to make use of the hand sanitiser gel provided. Other measures include an informal checking process where nomination papers may be emailed to us for checking before formal submission as well as an appointment system for hand delivery of nomination papers. Anyone wishing to use the informal checking service should, where possible, ensure that their nomination paper is scanned and emailed as a separate attachment. If submitting multiple nominations for informal checking please attach each candidate as a separate document. For East Northamptonshire, please send your nomination forms for informal checking to . We will be able to make informal checks of nomination papers sent electronically from 18th March until 4pm on Wednesday 7th April. Please note that irrespective of any informal checks undertaken, nomination papers must still be formally submitted by hand during the nomination period which starts on 25th March and closes at 4pm on 8th April 2021. An appointment system will be in operation for the formal submission of nomination papers. If a candidate or their representative arrives to deliver nomination papers and they do not have an appointment they may be asked to wait whilst we first process the nomination paper of a person who has made an appointment.
Where possible we would encourage you to identify a single person to deliver all nomination papers for a particular party/group to limit the number of people visiting the council offices as the offices may still be closed to members of the public at that time. However, we recognise that this may not always be possible and that some candidates may wish to deliver their nomination paper personally.
Nomination papers should not be delivered by anyone who is displaying Covid 19 symptoms, has recently tested positive for Covid 19 or who is isolating. The candidate should identify another person to deliver their nomination paper in these circumstances.
A short video animation detailing how to complete a nomination paper will be made available on local websites from 15th March 2021 along with a Candidate and Agents presentation. In addition anyone seeking further guidance about standing as a candidate or wishing to download and print a copy of the nomination paper can do so by visiting the Electoral Commission website at https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/local-elections-england for the North Northamptonshire area election and https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-council-elections-england for town and parish council elections.
Other dates that may be of interest are as follows:-
- The March electoral register is to be used for the elector numbers on nomination papers. Do not include any changes provided on the 1 April updates.
- The last date for applications to register to vote in time for the elections is by 12 midnight on Monday 19th April 2021. Applications can be made online: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
- The last time for applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes is 5 pm on Tuesday, 20th April 2021.
- The last time for new applications to vote by proxy is 5 pm on Tuesday, 27th April 2021.
- The last time for applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election on grounds of physical incapacity or for work/service reasons is by 5 pm on Thursday, 6th May 2021. The physical incapacity must have occurred after 5 pm on Tuesday, 27th April 2021. To apply on the grounds of work/service, the person must have become aware that they cannot go to the polling station in person after 5 pm on Tuesday, 27th April 2021
- Poll cards will be despatched as soon as practicable after publication of Notice of Election and by no later than 29th March 2021
- The main issue of postal votes will be despatched between 16th and 20th April 2021
Notice of Election will be published on 25th March 2021. This is the date that purdah will commence and further guidance will be published with regard to this shortly.
If you should have any queries in connection with the above please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Electoral Services Officer
East Northamptonshire Council
Cedar Drive, Thrapston, Northamptonshire, NN14 4LZ
Tel: 01832 742155