Local Elections

In this section you will find information about Principal Local Authority elections which the Greens have contested.

Councils have elections on a four yearly cycle. Most elect the entire council once every four year, some elect one third of the council each year for three years and then have a non-election year, and one council elects half its councillors every two years.

Generally local elections have their polling day the first Thursday in May, except in Euro election years when they are usually deferred until the same time as the Euro election in early June.

2011, 2015, 2019 are major election years for district and some unitary councils. 2009, 2013, 2017 are election years for the County Councils (including the two unitary councils) with their constituent districts that elect by thirds not having elections those years.

Bristol and Stroud are switching this year to all out elections every 4 years, so 2016 and 2020 for the next election. Both used to elect by thirds.

In this area you can find details of the previous and next years' May elections in the menu on the right. The by-election link lists current and recent by-elections with Green candidates. The archive area has some details of older elections.

The different types of Council

Principal authorities are those above Parish and Town level.

We have several hundred Parish and Town Green Councillors across the SouthWest but often these have stood or been coopted without an official party label despite being Green Party members as at this level there is less focus on party politics - all members of a parish or town council work together for the good of their area, and you will find Greens cooperating with members of all other parties on these councils. Some of the larger town councils do get politicised - often to the detriment of the smooth running of the council - and this is generally deplored.

Parish and town councils have elections at the same time as their parent council every fourth year.

District and Borough Councils typically cover an area of many parishes and have more powers, for example planning, recycling and rubbish, housing and will collect Council Tax and often own more buildings, open spaces and car parks. A county will include a number of districts. There are 25 district level councils in the SouthWest.

Above the Districts sit the County Councils. These have powers over education, transport, social care, libraries and so on. They also deal with trading standard and the fire service and have additonal planning responsibilities. The SouthWest has four County Councils.

Some areas do not have District and County Council but have the powers all combined in a single Unitary Council. The former counties of Cornwall and Wiltshire are now unitary authorities, as are North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Torbay, Swindon, Plymouth, Poole, Bournemouth, Bath & North East Somerset and Bristol. With the Isles of Scilly which is a separate council with unitary powers (the smallest in the UK) there are 12 unitaries in the SouthWest.