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The Local Government (Transitional, Incidental, Consequential and Supplemental Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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Designation of aldermen

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4.—(1) Notwithstanding any provision in a charter or statutory provision which (immediately prior to the operative date) provides for the designation of aldermen, where, in accordance with its charter, a council designates aldermen, it shall designate aldermen on or after that date in accordance with the following paragraphs of this regulation.

(2) In this regulation—

(a)the word “quota” means the number of all voting papers divided by a number exceeding by one the number of aldermen to be elected with the addition of one to the result obtained from such division;

(b)the words “surplus votes” shall mean the number of votes by which the total number of votes cast for any candidate at any stage of counting exceeds the quota; and

(c)“special resolution” has the meaning given by section 148 of the 1972 Act.

(3) Aldermen shall be designated in accordance with the following rules—

(a)the number of aldermen shall be such number as the council may determine but shall not exceed one quarter of the whole number of the councillors;

(b)if the number of councillors nominated as a candidate for the position of alderman does not exceed the number determined by the council in accordance with subparagraph (a) and the council so agrees, those nominated councillors may be deemed to be elected to the position of alderman;

(c)if subparagraph (b) does not apply, an alderman shall be elected by the council from among the councillors;

(d)except in the case of an election of an alderman to fill a casual vacancy, the ordinary election of aldermen shall be held in every fourth year, being an election year;

(e)subject to sub-paragraphs (r) and (s), the ordinary election of aldermen shall be held at the annual meeting of the council;

(f)every councillor of the council shall be entitled to vote at the election of an alderman, including in the case of an election to fill a casual vacancy, a councillor who is an alderman;

(g)a councillor shall be a candidate for election as an alderman if–

(i)he is nominated as a candidate by one other councillor as proposer and another as seconder; and

(ii)he assents to the nomination.

Any nomination may be made, and any assent may be given, either in the course of the meeting or by a document signed by the councillor or councillors in question and delivered to the clerk of the council before the beginning of the meeting;

(h)a councillor entitled to vote at a contested election of an alderman shall do so by signing and delivering at the meeting to the clerk of the council a voting paper containing in order of preference the full names of the candidate or candidates for whom he votes;

(i)the clerk of the council shall, as soon as all the voting papers have been delivered to him, proceed to ascertain the result of the voting and shall state the number of votes given to each candidate at each stage of the counting of votes;

(j)where at any stage of the council of votes the votes recorded for any candidate are equal to or greater than the quota, that candidate shall be deemed to be elected;

(k)at each stage of the counting of votes the transfer of the surplus votes cast for any candidate shall be effected by the transfer of such surplus votes in proportion to the number of the next available preference votes expressed for other candidates in the voting papers of a successful candidate. If at any stage of the counting of votes two or more candidates have surplus votes, the largest surplus shall be transferred first;

(l)if the quota is not achieved after the transfer of all surpluses (if any), the candidate or candidates with the highest number of votes shall be elected to fill the remaining vacancies;

(m)in the case of an equality of votes for any candidates, the person presiding at the meeting may give a casting vote, whether or not he voted in the first instance, or if the person presiding declines to give a casting vote the matter shall be decided by lot;

(n)in the case of a contested election the person presiding at the meeting shall declare to be elected as many candidates as there are vacancies to be filled, and in cases where fewer nominations are received than there are vacancies shall declare to be elected all the candidates nominated;

(o)the minutes of proceedings of the meeting, in addition to recording the names of the councillors becoming aldermen, shall in the case of a contested election include the full names of the candidates to whom votes were given and a complete record of the number of votes recorded for each;

(p)an alderman may resign his office of alderman without ceasing to be a councillor;

(q)where a councillor, who has been elected an alderman (including a councillor elected an alderman to fill a casual vacancy), ceases for any reason to be a councillor, then that person shall also cease to be an alderman;

(r)on a casual vacancy occurring in the office of alderman, that vacancy shall be filled by an election at the next annual meeting of the council;

(s)the first ordinary election of aldermen shall be held at the annual meeting of the council held in accordance with regulation 6(5) of the Local Government (Transitional, Supplementary, Incidental Provisions and Modifications) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014(1) or, before 1 October 2016, at the first meeting of the council after it receives a borough charter (whether under the provisions of these Regulations or the grant of a new charter under section 2 of the 1972 Act);

(t)any questions or matters arising concerning the counting of votes shall be determined by the clerk of the council.

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