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Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

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11F1Election and term of office of members of district councils.N.I.

(1)[F2The year 2011] and every fourth year thereafter shall be a local election year and in each local election year the election day as respects any district council shall be the day on which the poll is or would have been taken in any contested election for that council not being an election to fill a casual vacancy.

[F3(1A)The election day referred to in subsection (1) is the[F4 first Thursday in May].]

(2)The members of a district council—

(a)shall be elected in every local election year;

(b)shall come into office on the[F5 fourth day after] the election day;

(c)shall retire together on the[F5 fourth day after] the election day in the next succeeding local election year.

(3)[F3If the poll at an election in any district electoral area is countermanded or abandoned by reason of a candidate's death], the provisions of subsection (2) relating to the retirement of members shall have effect as if the election had not been countermanded or the poll adjourned but had been proceeded with and completed.

(4)A vacancy (in this Act referred to as a casual vacancy) caused in a district council—

(a)by the death or resignation or disqualification (whether by virtue of this Act or otherwise) of a member; or

(b)by the non-acceptance of office by a person elected or declared to have been elected a member or by his office becoming vacant under section 7(2) of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 [1972 c.9] or being declared vacant under section 10 of that Act by reason of his failure to attend meetings of the council; or

(c)by the determination by an election court that a person's election as a member was void, where no other person is declared elected in his stead;

shall, if it occurs in any local election year on or after the first day of January and before or on election day, be deemed to have been caused by the expiry of the normal term of office and accordingly shall be filled on the election day in that year and in any other case[F6 shall be filled in accordance with subsection (4A)].

[F6(4A)A casual vacancy to which subsection (4)(c) applies shall be filled by a person elected at an election to fill the vacancy and any other casual vacancy shall be filled—

(a)by a person chosen by the council in accordance with subsection (4B); or

(b)if no person is chosen as mentioned in paragraph (a), by a person elected at an election to fill the vacancy.

(4B)Where a casual vacancy in a district council falls to be filled in accordance with this subsection—

(a)a meeting of the council to choose a person to fill the vacancy shall be held not less than 14 days nor more than 42 days after the occurrence of the vacancy;

(b)the clerk of the council shall give every member of the council not less than 7 days written notice of the meeting which notice shall state as the first business of the meeting the choice of a person to fill the vacancy;

(c)the council may at that meeting choose to fill the vacancy[F7 any person who—]

[F7(i)is qualified to be a member of the council;]

[F7(ii)has made, and served on the clerk of the council, a declaration in the form set out in Part II of Schedule 2 to the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act 1989; and]

[F7(iii)][F7is not objected to by any member of the council present at the meeting;] and

(d)any person so chosen shall be deemed for all purposes to have been duly elected a member of the council.

(4C)Where a meeting of a district council held in accordance with subsection (4B) fails to choose a person to fill a casual vacancy, the clerk of the council shall, within 7 days of the meeting, notify the Chief Electoral Officer—

(a)that a casual vacancy has arisen in the council and that a meeting held in accordance with subsection (4B) has failed to choose a person to fill that vacancy;

(b)of any other matter concerning the casual vacancy which has come to the knowledge of the clerk of the council.]

[F5(5)A casual vacancy shall be deemed to have occurred—

(a)if it is a vacancy to which sub-section (4) ( a) or ( b) applies, when and so soon as the Chief Electoral Officer is satisfied that the vacancy exists; or

(b)if it is a vacancy to which sub-section (4) ( c) applies, on the date of the determination;

and it shall be the duty of the clerk of a district council within 7 days of any matter concerning a casual vacancy coming to his knowledge to report it to the Chief Electoral Officer.]

(6)A person elected to fill a casual vacancy occurring in a district council shall hold office for the remainder of the term of the member whom he has succeeded.

(7)Nothing in this section shall affect the right under any enactment relating to local government of the chairman or vice chairman of a local authority to continue in office until his successor becomes entitled to act.]

Subs.(8) rep. by SLR 1980

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F11972 NI 13

F2Words in s. 11(1) substituted (12.2.2009) by Postponement of Local Elections (Northern Ireland) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/225), arts. 1(1), 2(2) (with transitional provisions in art. 3)

F3SI 1985/454

F4SI 2005/862

F51992 NI 6

F61985 NI 15

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