Eligibility to be a Parish Councillor and co-option information

To stand as a Parish Councillor you need to meet certain requirements.

These requirements are in the document below – pages 3, 4 & 5 are the relevant pages.

At the last election (May 2019) there were not enough nominations for the available seats. The Council is looking to co-opt Councillors to these vacancies. This must be done within 35 working days of the election at a quorate meeting of the Council.

Co-opted v elected councillors

There is no difference between co-opted and elected councillors. The requirements and duties are the same for all Councillors irrespective of how they attained office.

A co-opted Councillor is one who is appointed to the Council by Councillors, rather than being elected. 

Council elections are every four years and so the term of office for Councillors is four years. All Councillors serve until the next scheduled elections.


No Council business can be conducted unless there is a quorum – the legal minimum number of Councillors present. A quorum is one third of seats available rounded up to the nearest whole number. In Dartington’s case there are 11 seats on the Council so the quorum is four.

See below to find out how to be co-opted. If you have any questions about being a Councillor, please contact the Clerk.

Process for co-option within 35 working days of an election:

Candidates should check they are eligible to stand (see above) and have some understanding of the role of a Councillor. The very useful Good Councillors Guide is here:The-Good-Councillors-guide-2018. More information about being a Councillor can be found here.

New Councillors are co-opted at a full meeting of the Parish Council which must be quorate. Candidates should send the Clerk some information about themselves stating what they would bring to the Council in advance of the meeting. Candidates are also invited to speak at the meeting to introduce themselves. The Councillors will then discuss the co-option and make their decision. Once the Declaration of Acceptance of Office has been signed, the candidate becomes a Councillor and can take part in the rest of the meeting.

Process for co-opting to vacancies arising on the Council at other times (Casual Vacancies): 

The Parish Clerk is responsible for publishing a Notice of Vacancy which should be displayed for 14 working days. If 10  electors contact SHDC within the 14 day notice period calling for an election, there must be an election.  Otherwise, the Parish Council may fill the vacancies by co-option.