Questions and Answers from the event
Question – If Exeter has 36k population and employs 13 staff – what is their band D pre-cept?
Answer – From their website in the current year (20/21) it is just under £60 per Band D household.
Question – What right does the Parish Council have to acquire assets from RDC if RDC refuses to devolve them?
Answer – It is a process of negotiation on transfer of assets (unless statutory e.g allotments). Both parties would have to agree.
Question – If RDC Councillors also sit on the Parish must they excuse themselves from voting on liability devolvement from District?
Answer – Appropriate advice will be given at the time to any twin-hatted RDC Members, depending on the nature of the decisions to be made. As a general rule however, as the interests of the RDC Members would arise purely from their membership of the Parish Council (a public body), it is likely that they would be able to stay, speak but potentially not vote on matters that would affect the financial position of the Parish Council.
Question – Surely if the parish has the same councillors as RDC, that just negates the requirement for a parish council in the first place? The town shouldn’t pay twice for one person to do the same job.
Answer – Hopefully there will be at least some different people but also different roles (although accept inevitably there may be some areas of common interest).
Such councillors are described as ‘twin hatted’ and exist in a large number of towns and parishes. Those in that situation can bring a broader perspective to the role. Whilst District Councillors may claim an allowance, it is uncommon for parish councillors to do so – although the law does allow a PC to introduce a scheme to pay a basic allowance.
Question – What is the official calculation of 7p per elector for Bexhill expenses?
Answer – We do not provide an official amount as such but will give all candidates the electorate when they stand. We have approximately 35,000 electors in the Parish. Whether the amount per elector in a parish that is warded, such as Bexhill, is based on the electorate of each parish ward rather than the parish as a whole will be confirmed.
Question – If candidates can only distribute information by post might there be a relaxation of the limits on election expenses?
Answer – The District Council is not aware that there will be any change to expenses limits in light of the current restrictions.
Question – Are there any financial payments/deposits for candidates standing for election?
Answer – No
Question – Do you have an anticipated number of applications for the 18 available seats?
Answer – There is no maximum number of candidates that can stand in each Ward. The exact number standing in each ward will not be known until the close of nominations. It is expected that all 18 wards will go to an election.
Question – Are there rules for candidates as to what they can post on social media etc?
Answer – Social media is a complicated area but candidates need to make sure that it is clear from their profile that they are standing as candidates and posting information etc. from that perspective.
Question – Can RDC assist in communicating to electors who is standing, otherwise people will find it hard to find out about their candidates unless we can all afford to pay the Royal Mail!
Answer – RDC can promote the fact that an election is taking place and will publish the names of persons standing for election but are not able to promote them in any other way.
Question – Those standing for parties will have access to the electoral register will independent candidates also have that? And can we have electronic version of register?
Answer – All confirmed candidates will have access to the electoral register for the Ward that they are standing in (including an electronic version if requested); there are strict rules concerning how this information is used and disposed of following the election.
Question – Some of the ward maps shown on rother’s website are out of date last time I looked – mostly where there have been housing developments since the maps were last updated. Old Town & Worsham is one.
Answer – Updated maps will be provided.
Question – Salisbury styles itself a City Council (although a Parish) could Bexhill become Bexhill City?
The De La Warr is our Cathedral…
Answer – There are several criteria for a Town to be granted City Status, including size of population and it must have city status conferred upon it by Royal Decree. It is unlikely that Bexhill would ever meet the criteria!
Malcolm Johnston, Chief Executive and Returning Officer, Rother District Council
Linda Butcher, Interim Parish Council Administration (Clerk)
Trevor Leggo, Chief Executive Officer, Surrey and Sussex Association of Local Councils
Richard Adams, Elections Manager, Rother District Council
Lisa Cooper, Democratic Services Manager and Monitoring Officer
Rother District Council