05 February 2020 Mr Philip Gill Thistle House 10 Foxtail Gardens Ludgershall Andover Hants SP11 9TB
Electoral Services County Hall Bythesea Road Trowbridge Wiltshire BA14 8JN
Dear Mr Gill Casual Vacancy - Collingbourne Ducis Parish I refer to your notification of a vacancy and enclose a copy of the statutory Notice of Vacancy. The Notice may be copied as required but must be displayed in a prominent position within the Parish of Collingbourne Ducis. An election to fill the vacancy will be held if TEN electors from the Parish of Collingbourne Ducis write to the Returning Officer by 27 February, 2020 asking for an election to be held. If an election is not requested by that date, then the Parish Council must fill the vacancy by co-option as soon as practicable. I will write to you again after 27 February, 2020 to let you know whether there will be an election, or whether the Parish Council may co-opt to fill the vacancy. Finally, as part of the 2015/16 budget-making process, the council has resolved to recharge the cost of parish council elections back to parish councils. The precise cost to each council is hard to estimate, as it depends on a number of variable factors such as electorate size, the number of postal voters and the number of polling stations. An election in a large town ward, for example, could easily cost £5,000 upwards, but in a small rural parish it could be very much less. Election fees are limited by a scale of fees approved by the council, and this was last reviewed in 2013. Town and Parish Councils must consider whether they wish to request poll cards for each by-election as costs are now recharged to town and parish councils.  It has become common practice to send poll cards for all elections as this promotes more democratic engagement.  However, this will be an area for your Town/Parish Council to consider when a vacancy occurs and more appropriately, if an election is triggered. Poll cards need to be prepared about the same time the Notice of Election is published. This is so they can be printed and posted as soon as possible to enable electors to be notified of the statutory deadlines if they wish to change their voting methods. If an election is requested Electoral Services will send parish councils a form to complete and return indicating their decision on poll cards.  You may wish to have a council resolution in place delegating power to an individual to make that decision, or a blanket decision on whether or not poll cards are produced. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Yours sincerely
Terence Herbert Electoral Registration Officer Telephone: 0300 456 0112 Email: elections@wiltshire.gov.uk