Wanted: councillors

Your name in the ballot box? Picture: Local Democracy Reporting Service

STAPLE Hill and Mangotsfield’s new parish council needs a key ingredient – the councillors who will make the decisions.

Residents will be asked to vote for the new council’s first members in elections on May 4, the date when all 61 seats on South Gloucestershire Council and a total of 492 town and parish council seats across the district are up for grabs.

The elections come around every four years and are a chance for adult residents of an area – whether a member of a political party or independent – to win a place representing their community and helping decide how public money is spent.

Anyone who would like to be a parish or South Gloucestershire councillor can get nomination papers now – they can be submitted between March 27 and 4pm on April 4.

To be nominated as a candidate, you need the signatures of two residents on the current electoral register for the ward.

Unlike parliamentary elections, you do not need to pay a deposit to stand as a candidate.

The new Staple Hill & Mangotsfield Parish Council will have a total of 13 councillors in four wards: Mangotsfield, which will have five parish councillors, Soundwell, with four councillors, Page, with two councillors and Pendennis, also with two.

Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council has 12 seats up for election. Most of the parish is covered by a single seat, Downend, which has ten councillors.

Confusingly, the other ward is called Staple Hill: it covers an area, between Page Park, Salisbury Road, North Street and Hill House Road, which moved into South Gloucestershire Council’s Staple Hill & Mangotsfield ward at the last boundary change but stayed part of Downend & Bromley Heath rather than becoming part of the new parish.

Emersons Green Town Council, which has a total of 16 town councillors to elect, covers part of Downend and part of Mangotsfield: there are three councillors in its Badminton ward, three in Blackhorse, three in Pomphrey and seven in Emersons Green.

People living in Frenchay elect four of the 16 members of Winterbourne Parish Council.

If the number of people nominated is less than the total number of seats available they are declared elected without a vote having to take place.

There are fewer seats but more power and responsibility for members of South Gloucestershire Council.

Three wards – Frenchay & Downend, Staple Hill & Mangotsfield and Emersons Green – cover the area and have three seats each.

The Emersons Green ward includes the area of Downend around Westbourne Road and parts of Mangotsfield.

South Gloucestershire Council is encouraging anyone who wants to make a “real difference” to consider standing for election.

The council is holding briefing sessions for prospective candidates at Kingswood Council Chamber on March 6 and 9.

For more information about becoming a candidate, visit beta.southglos.gov.uk/stand-for-election, call 01454 863030, email electoral.services@southglos.gov.uk or write to Electoral Registration, PO Box 1953, Badminton Road, Bristol, BS37 0DB.

Picture: Local Democracy Reporting Service