A photo of a polling station sign

Election Process Commences

Potential candidates for this year’s Knutsford Town Council elections have 19 days to complete their nomination papers and submit them to Cheshire East Council as the election process commences.

The formal notice of election for the five town council wards has been published today by Cheshire East Council and candidates have until 4pm on 4th April to get their papers in.  All 15 seats on the council are up for election with candidates able to stand in any one of the five electoral wards (Cross Town, Norbury Booths, St John’s Wood, Nether or Bexton and Town Centre). Each ward will elect three councillors.

Nomination papers can be obtained from the Electoral Commission website, or the Town Council offices. Candidates will need a proposer and seconder from the ward they are standing in and all nomination papers must be hand delivered to Cheshire East’s Sandbach office to the election staff.

On 5th April Cheshire East Council will publish the list of nominated candidates, where wards are contested (more than three people standing for election) a poll will then take place on 4th May.

Qualification to stand for election

To be eligible to stand for election, candidates need to:

  • be a registered elector in Knutsford OR
  • have lived in the town or within 4.8km for the last 12 months OR
  • have had Knutsford as their primary place of work OR
  • have occupied premises in Knutsford for the last 12 months.

There are also criteria which disqualify candidates from standing, such as being subject to bankruptcy restrictions, having been convicted of a criminal offence with a sentence of three or more months imprisonment within the last five years and having been convicted of certain sexual offences.

Full guidance on standing for election is available on the Electoral Commission website: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-council-elections-england

A map of Knutsford showing the five town wards

Changes to Town Council wards

New community governance arrangements affecting Knutsford come into effect this April, following conclusion of a community governance review across Cheshire East.

The review, which looked at governance arrangements for town and parish councils across the borough, addresses the concerns first raised by Knutsford Town Council in 2017 when it pushed for a review to be commenced.

The boundary of Knutsford is being expanded to the west to include the Tabley Park development, part of which is currently in Tabley parish. The new boundary follows Northwich Road to the M6 and back along Tabley Hill Lane. The town’s eastern boundary was also changed to include part of the Longridge Business Park which was technically within Mobberley parish.

The other major change is redrawing the internal ward boundaries – Knutsford’s 15 town councillors will now be elected across five three-member wards rather than the current four. This addresses issues which will be created by new developments which would have affected the ratio of electors to councillors in existing wards and seen some estates split between different wards. The changes split the existing Over ward, which elected six councillors, into two three-member wards, providing a stronger link between councillors and residents.

All ward boundaries have been affected. The new wards are:

  • Nether
  • Bexton and Town Centre
  • Crosstown
  • St John’s Wood
  • Norbury Booths
A map of Knutsford showing the five town wards
A map showing the new boundary of Knutsford (edged red) and the five wards

Nether ward has moved north to include the Tabley Park development as well as the Bluebell Village and smaller development planned for the site west of Manchester Road. The town centre has moved into the new Bexton and Town Centre ward whilst Norbury Booths ward has expanded west to include all houses along Bexton Lane. Over ward has been split in two, creating a new Cross Town ward, centred around Thorneyholme Drive, and St John’s Wood, which contains the ancient woodland, Longridge and Shaw Heath areas as well as the new development on Parkgate Lane and potential development on Longridge. 

The new governance arrangements will be used in the May elections. No changes have been made to the Cheshire East Council wards.

In surrounding parishes, the area of Tatton Park which is not in Knutsford parish moves into a newly merged parish of Millington and Rostherne whilst there have been no changes at Mere; Plumley with Toft and Bexton; or Ollerton with Marthall and the only change at Tabley is the transfer of land to Knutsford.

This year’s elections will also see some changes to polling stations and residents will have recently received letters from Cheshire East Council; polling cards will be issued for elections detailing the polling station for each polling district in Knutsford. Voting in elections from May 2023 requires photo ID for the first time. If you do not have photographic ID, you can apply for a free voter authority certificate from Cheshire East Council at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate

Town councillors 2022

Chance to find out about being a town councillor

In May 2023, residents will head to the polls to elect their 15 town councillors – but only if people put themselves forward for election.

Elections are held for the 15 seats on the council every four years and the last full elections in May 2019 saw 14 councillors elected unopposed with one co-opted by the council a month later. With up to eight of the current councillors potentially not standing for re-election this year, the Town Council is keen to promote the opportunity of serving as a councillor and see contested elections across all five wards.

The Town Council is hosting two information evenings to help potential candidates decide if being a councillor is right for them.

The sessions will include an overview of what the council can and cannot do, the role of a town councillor and the process for standing for election.  They will also include a Q&A with serving town councillors so residents can here just what the life of a town councillor actually is.

“Perhaps you aren’t sure what the role of a councillor involves, you want to know how it could work with your other commitments or you’re daunted by the election process – maybe you actually want to be standing for Cheshire East Council. These sessions aim to help you decide whether to stand this May” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green.

The sessions take place at 7pm on Thursday 16th February and Monday 20th February in the Council Offices. The second session will also be livestreamed to Facebook.

Questions for the Q&A, about the role of being a councillor, can be submitted to townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or asked on the evening.

A photo of a polling station sign

By-Election Candidates Announced

Both by-elections taking place on May 6th have been contested meaning electors in these wards will go to the polls to vote for who they want to see representing them on Knutsford Town Council until 2023.

Bexton Ward

Two candidates have stood for election.

Amy Rosalind HOBSON of 111 Ashworth Park (Liberal Democrats)

Millie MORRIS (address in Cheshire East) (Conservatives)

Nether Ward

Three candidates have stood for election.

Annie Greer (address in Cheshire East) (Conservatives)

Scott Lowe (address in Cheshire East) (Independent)

Bill Tenger of 33 Manchester Road (Liberal Democrats)

Register To Vote

If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you don’t need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with Cheshire East Council on 0300 123 5016.

It only takes 5 minutes to register to vote and you can do this online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

 The deadline to register is midnight on 19 April 2021.

If you want to vote by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you as early as possible.

To apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill in a postal vote application form. If you can’t print the form, contact the Electoral Services Team at Cheshire East Council by calling 0300 123 5016 so that a form can be posted to you.

Once you have completed the form and signed it, you can email scanned forms to postalvoting@cheshireeast.gov.uk or post them to the Electoral Services Team, Cheshire East Council, Macclesfield Town Hall, c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. 

The deadline to apply for a postal vote in is 5pm on 20 April 2021. 

If you are not able to vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person is often referred to as your proxy.

To apply for a proxy vote, complete the form to vote by proxy, explaining why you can’t get to your polling station in person. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to vote or can apply to vote for you by post.

The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on 27 April 2021.