All you need to know about upcoming by-elections at Adur and Worthing Councils

Adur and Worthing residents will soon see two by-elections to select two new councillors.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 1:38 pm
Adur and Worthing Councils

Here’s why the by-elections are taking place

Usually, Worthing Borough and Adur District councillors are elected every few years but there are some occasions when a by-election must take place i.e. following the death or resignation of a councillor.

One by-election has been triggered due to the death of ‘well-respected’ Conservative councillor David Simmons who was said to have ‘had time for everyone’ and ‘helped countless people’.

Mr Simmons represented the residents of Hillside ward, Southwick, from 2014 up until his death in September this year.

Tributes were paid to Mr Simmons during Adur District Council meetings, including a minute’s silence at Thursday’s full council (October 28).

During the meeting, ADC chairman Stephen Chipp said: “On the 7th of October I was honoured to have given a tribute to councillor Simmons at St Nicolas’ Church [at his funeral].

“I have to say that, of all the engagements I have done, it was the most nervous I have ever been in terms of giving a public speech because I respected the man a great deal.”

Why can’t it wait until the May elections?

 Council elections will be taking place in May 2022 but the by-elections must take place before then.

Paul Mansfield (Con, Cokeham) asked if the Adur by-election was necessary, saying: “Considering we’ve got elections in May, I don’t understand why a by-election was called.

“During this current climate that we’re in, Covid hasn’t gone away.

“I believe the cost of this [by-election] is £7,000, and then to elect a councillor in five months’ time, I just don’t see the sense in the current climate.”

Adur District Council leader Neil Parkin (Con, St Nicolas) said that election rules are governed by the Local Government Act (1972) and ADC ‘has no jurisdiction at all over these matters’. 

He added that the Hillside by-election could not wait until May 2022 because this would not fall within the legally required time frame to fill a council vacancy and therefore, the costs are unavoidable.

Elections can be expensive as they require administration, polling stations to be set up and manned, and then a count to take place which requires staff and a venue.

Why is a by-election taking place in Worthing?

A second by-election will be taking place to elect a new councillor to represent Worthing’s Marine Ward.

This is because former Conservative Marine ward councillor Tim Wills resigned his seat after anti-racist campaign group HOPE not Hate said he allegedly sent messages to a Telegram chat associated with Patriotic Alternative.

Key dates and deadlines to know

There are several key dates that Marine and Hillside wards’ residents should be aware of.

The by-election will be taking place on Thursday, December 2 and polls will be open from 7 am until 10 pm.

Votes will be counted as soon as practicable after the close of poll.

Parties and individuals have until November 5 to announce their candidacy and those standing in the election will be publicly announced by November 8.

The deadline to register to vote for these elections is midnight on November 16.

The deadline for new postal votes and postal proxies, or to change or cancel postal or proxy votes, is on November 17 at 5 pm.

The deadline for new proxy voting applications will be November 24 at 5 pm.

Postal votes can be used by someone when it is not possible for them to vote in person.

If a voter cannot vote in person and wishes for someone else to do so on their behalf, they can assign them as their ‘proxy voter’.

Postal voting packs will be sent out to eligible voters who have applied for one on November 19.

Voters can find out where their polling station will be from November 24.

More information on key dates and deadlines can be found at this link: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/media/Media,165744,smxx.pdf

To find out if you are eligible to vote in this election, or if you are unsure which ward you live in, you can enter your postcode on the councils’ website here: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/street-search/#postcode