Follow Find us on Facebook a link to our facebook Find us on Twitter a link to our twitter Listen to our Podcastsa link to listen to our podcast Spotlight on Local Newsa link to go to our news page Contact Us

Councillor Elections & Vacancies

a drawing of 3 people stood next to eachother

Penrith West Ward By-election – 2 May 2024

A by-election will be held on 2 May  for the Penrith West ward.  This will be held at the same time as the Cumbria Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) elections.


OFFICIAL NOTICE OF ELECTION – Penrith Town Council West Ward By-election

STATEMENT OF PERSONS NOMINATED and contesting the Penrith West Ward By-election.  More information can also be found on the Westmorland and Furness Council Website

Information about Voter ID and changes to postal vote arrangements can be found on Westmorland and Furness Council’s website 

2023 Town Council Election

Following the parish elections on Thursday 4 May 2023, the following have been elected to Penrith Town Council:

Penrith South: Councillor R Burgin, Councillor D Smith
Penrith West: Councillor B Jayson, Councillor H Snell, Councillor J Thomson
Penrith North: Councillor P Donald, Councillor S Jackson, Councillor D Jayson Councillor R Kenyon
Penrith Pategill: Councillor V Bowen
Penrith East: Councillor M Rudhall, Councillor C Shepherd
Penrith Carleton: Councillor D Holden, Councillor D Lawson

You can find the results using the underlined  link below which will take you to a different website:

Ordinary Vacancy Penrith East Ward 2023

Following the Town Council elections in May, Penrith Town Council had one unfilled seat in Penrith East Ward.

At its meeting of Full Council on Monday 17 July 2023, Penrith Town Council co-opted David Knaggs as councillor for the Penrith East Ward

Ordinary co-option following a non-contested election is a process whereby a qualifying person can be appointed by the Council during the course of a Council meeting to fill a vacant seat after election.

Councillor Knaggs has been co-opted for the duration of the council term.

Casual Vacancies

Where a casual vacancy occurs, the Town Council can fill by co-option or a by-election.  The vacancy will be advertised on our noticeboard on Angel Lane and online.  A request for a by-election must be made within 14 days of the publication of the notice of vacancy by 10 electors from within the parish ward where the vacancy occurs.   This request should go directly to the Electoral Registration Officers at Westmorland and Furness Council. The requests from the 10 electors may be submitted together, separately or a combination of the two.

At the end of the 14 day period if no request for an election has been made, we must fill the vacancy by co-option and will invite those wishing to be co-opted to complete an application form which sets out  your eligibility and the reasons you want to be a Councillor. The co-option will take place as soon as is practicable after the end of the 14 day period.

The applications will then be put to a meeting of the Full Council where the Councillors will vote to determine which candidate is co-opted and becomes a Councillor.  If there is only one applicant, the Town Council will still make a decision whether to co-opt or not fill the vacancy at that time.

Town Councillors

Town and Parish Councillors are elected representatives who give their time freely and are not paid. Councillors work together to set the policy direction of the Town Council. Councillors attend regular meetings of the Council and its Committees to make decisions on a range of matters deciding what services should be delivered, where money should be spent and what policies should be implemented. Councillors represent the local community, both residents and the town as a whole. Councillors are contacted by residents who have problems they need assistance with.

No specific skills or qualifications are required to become a Councillor, all that is required is a willingness to attend meetings and involve yourself in the community.

Councillors often have specific interests reflected by the committees and external bodies which they are members of.

The parish of Penrith is split into six areas or wards and a councillor would represent the electorate within their ward.

Ward Maps

Below is a list of maps to showing the boundaries of each parish ward.

Use this link to open a PDF map of Penrith East

Use this link to open a PDF map of Penrith West

Use this link to open a PDF map of Penrith North

Use this link to open a PDF map of Penrith South

Use this link to open a PDF map of Penrith Pategill

Use this link to open a PDF map of Penrith Carleton

How to become a Town Councillor

You don’t have to be interested in politics or be a member of a political group to become a town councillor. It takes all sorts of individuals from different parts of the community, of different ages with different life experiences to become a councillor.

As a councillor, you can become a voice for your community and affect real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the aspirations of the public that they serve and are the most local part of our democratic system and are closest to the public.

The Town Council looks to blend a variety of skills and backgrounds in its members. No special qualifications are needed and the most important thing is to have a keen interest in Penrith and be prepared to play an active part in the Council’s work.

Training and guidance from Council officers will be available throughout your term of office.

The Council is acutely aware that councillors are volunteers and will endeavour not to have unrealistic expectations and to manage councillors time effectively.  However, councillors are expected to attend bi monthly Full Council meetings plus regular meetings of committees to which they are members.

To be able to stand as a Town Councillor you must:

  • be at least 18 years old.
  • be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union and must meet at least one of the following:
  1. You are, and will continue to be, registered as an elector in Penrith from the day of your nomination onwards.
  2. You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish of Penrith during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
  3. Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of the election has been within the parish of Penrith
  4. You have lived in the parish area or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and day of election.
  • is either in the register of electors for Penrith or has during the whole of the preceding twelve months, occupied land as owner or tenant, had a principal place of work there, or resided in or within 4.8 kilometres or 3 miles of it.

You cannot stand for election if you:

  • you are employed by the Town Council or hold a paid office under the parish council
  • you are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order
  • you have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended sentence) without the option of a fine during the five years before polling day and the ordinary period allowed for making an appeal or application in respect of the conviction has passed
  • you have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which covers corrupt and illegal electoral practices)
  • you are subject to the notification requirement of, or under, Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are Councillors Paid?

    No, our Councillors do not receive an allowance. The exception to this is the Town Mayor and Deputy Mayor who receive an allowance to meet the expenses of that office.

    We do reimburse some expenses such as mileage for attending meetings, training and events on behalf of the Council, but we are unable (by law) to reimburse expenses such as childcare costs.

    Who Decides If There Will Be A By-Election?

    A casual vacancy arises when a Councillor leaves office between ordinary elections. This could be through resignation, death, disqualification or by failing to attend meetings.

    When a casual vacancy arises, the Town Clerk will publish a notice giving the electors living in the town 14 working days for the opportunity to demand an election. If 10 electors write to the Returning Officer at Westmorland and Furness Council to request an election a by-election is triggered.

    If fewer than 10 request an election, the Town Council must instead co-opt a councillor to fill the vacancy.

    If the vacancy occurs within the 6 months before an ordinary election no by-election will be held even if demanded. The Council can choose if to leave the vacancy unfilled until the election.

    What Support is Provided?

    The Town Clerk and fellow Councillors provide support for all new councillors and part of the Clerk’s role is provide advice and support to all Councillors.  Experienced councillors are very happy to support new councillors as they ‘find their feet’.

    We encourage Councillors to undertake training relevant to their roles and the needs of the council and the Council has access to advice from the Cumbria Association of Local Councils CALC.

    Can I Be or Do I Have to Be A Member of A Policital Party ?

    Councillors can stand for election (or co-option) as candidates for a political party, to do so they must have permission from the party, usually through the local branch.

    Councillors can also be independent of political parties.

Use this link to open PDF booklet Electoral Commission Guidance on standing as a candidate in Parish Council Elections

Other useful links can be found at the bottom of this page

Useful Information

Listed below are publications provided by the National Association of Local Councils and The Local Government Association, that contain more information about becoming a councillor.

Use this link to open a PDF book called It Takes Allsorts

Use this link to open a PDF book called All About Local Councils

Use this link to open a book called Be-a-councillor

What to do if you cannot access parts of this page

We want to ensure that everyone can access our information and we are working to improve our website. Please contact us if you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read or in an alternative format.

We will consider your request and respond to you in ten working days.