Calculation of Councillor’s Term of Office

Publish date: 23/04/2019

Following requests for clarification on calculating the date of a councillor’s retirement or start of their term of office after scheduled local elections on 2 May 2019, the Association of Electoral Administrators and Lawyers in Local Government have sought legal opinion on the ‘effective fourth calendar date’ under the Local Government Act 1972.

The AEA and LLG have obtained the views of eminent barrister Tim Straker QC of 4-5 Grays Inn and thank him for his time and expertise in this matter.

In summary the advice states:

The act of vacating office or taking office falls within section 243(1) of the Act.

Saturday and Sunday should be counted.

The fourth day would normally be a Monday, but this is not counted this year due to it being a bank holiday.

The correct fourth day in 2019 is therefore Tuesday 7 May.

Regular retirement takes place on the fourth date (and if that fourth date is a bank holiday Monday it will deemed to be the following Tuesday).

Six months before that fourth day means that any casual vacancy 'within six months before' Tuesday 7 May 2019 did not require a by-election to be held before 2 May 2019.

To read the advice in full please click here

(Please note that neither the AEA or LLG accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy or otherwise of this opinion and any loss or damage suffered as a result of such reliance. You are advised to seek your own legal opinion)