< Parish and Community Council Elections

  • Candidate spending return and declaration
  • Explanatory notes
  • Completing and returning this form to the Returning Officer
  • Return of Election Expenses

  • Candidate spending return and declaration

    You should read the related guidance for Local elections in England and Wales: Part 3 Spending and donations for information on:

    • the spending limit
    • the regulated period
    • what is candidate spending
    • notional spending

    We provide a quick guide here about what is different when you are contesting parish or community level elections.

    Who this form is for

    Candidates standing for election in parish and community level elections whether the elections are contested or not.

    The spending return

    It is your responsibility to keep your spending within your spending limit during the regulated period.

    You can appoint an agent to help you with your campaign, but you will still be responsible for managing your own election spending.

    You must complete both the return and a candidate declaration and submit them to your returning officer within 28 calendar days after the day of the election.

    Recording Candidate spending

    You must keep a record all of your candidate spending and you must keep invoices or receipts for all payments of £10 or more. You must submit these invoices and receipts with your return.


    After the election


    You must get all invoices from suppliers within 14 calendar days after the day of the election.

    If you do not receive an invoice within the time limit, you will need to get a court order before you can pay it. You should make your suppliers aware of this.

    Paying invoices
    You must pay all invoices within 21 calendar days after the day of the election. If you do not pay an invoice within this time limit, you will need to get a court order before you can pay it.

    When you have appointed an agent
    If the agent has spent money on your behalf they must provide you with a written return detailing what they spent. They must give you this within 23 calendar days after the day of the election.

    Submitting the return

    You must complete and submit this form and the declaration to the returning officer within 28 calendar days after the day of the election.


    Explanatory notes

    Details of candidate and election

    Please provide the details requested under this section and sign the form.
    Calculate your spending limit and enter it on the form.

    Your spending limit is £740, plus 6p per local government elector in the parish, community or town council area which you are standing for.

    If you are a joint candidate you will need to reduce your spending limit by:

    • a quarter (25%) – when there are two joint candidates, or
    • a third (33%) – when there are three or more joint candidates

    You can find out the electorate, which is the number of people registered to vote on the last day for publication of the notice of election, from your Returning Officer.

    Part 1: Summary of spending

    Complete the summary table to show your spending during the election campaign.

    All notional spending and unpaid claims should be entered in the specific boxes provided.

    If you have not spent any money under a particular category please enter nil in the appropriate box.

    Part 2: Payments

    A Breakdown of expenditure
    Use this table to provide a breakdown of all payments making up the amounts shown under categories A to I in the summary table (part 1).

    For every item of spending, please give details of:

    • the item or service used
    • the name and address of the supplier
    • the date the invoice was paid
    • the date the invoice was received
    • the amount paid
    • the invoice or receipt number. Invoices or receipts are required for all items of £10 or more except notional spending

    Please remember to indicate when you are entering a nil payment.

    B Unpaid claims
    Use this table to tell us more about claims that remain unpaid on the day you submit the form.
    For each claim, please give details of:

    • the item
    • the date the invoice was received
    • the amount
    • the action taken or to be taken in relation to this claim

    Include the details of the court to which you have applied, or will apply, to make a late payment.

    C Declaration of value on notional spending over £50
    Use this table to tell us about all items of notional spending of more than £50.
    You do not need to tell us about notional spending of £50 or less. This does not need to be included on the return and it does not count towards your spending limit.
    For items of notional spending please tell us:

    • the item or service provided
    • the normal commercial cost of the item/service
    • the actual cost you have paid as recorded in Part 2 table A
    • the value of notional spending
    • when you incurred this spending

    You must sign this section of the form whether or not any notional spending was incurred.


    Completing and returning this form to the Returning Officer

    You should complete and return the form to the Returning Officer for your electoral area. The form must be submitted within 28 calendar days after the day of the election.

    The form must be accompanied by the declaration signed by you to verify the return.

    Where can I get further advice?

    If you have any questions about candidates’ election spending you can call us on:

    Visit us at www.electoralcommission.org.uk


    Return of Election Expenses

    To be completed by the candidate and returned within 28 days after the day of the election.

    In the [ ………………………………………….. ward of the]

    Parish/Community of ………………………………………..

    Date of Election ………………………………………………..

    Name of Candidate …………………………………………..

    Expenditure limit £ ……………………………………………

    1. I am the person named above as Candidate in this election.
    2. I hereby make the following return of my election expenses.

    Signature of Candidate …………………………..     Date …………………………..

    Part one: Summary of expenses

    Category Amount
    £ pp
    A.   Candidate’s personal expenses (i.e. travel and subsistence)
    B.   Paid to individuals for services rendered (sub-agents, clerks, messengers, etc)
    C.   Paid for election offices:
    C1.   Hire of rooms
    C2.   Office costs (use of computers etc)
    D.   Paid for public meetings:
    D1.   Hire of rooms
    D2.   Paid to public speakers
    E.   Paid for materials to electors:
    E1.   Design and printing costs
    E2.   Distribution costs (e.g. postage)
    F.   Paid for advertising:
    F1.   Posters/banners/billboards
    F2.   Publicity materials (e.g. loudspeakers, rosettes)
    G.   Paid for stationery costs
    H.   Paid for communication costs (phone, fax, internet, etc)
    I.   Miscellaneous Items
    Total notional expenditure
    Total unpaid claims
    Total election expenses


    Part two: Payments

    A.   Breakdown of expenditure

    Payments made by the candidate or any of his agents (A to I)

    Please note: For each item of expenditure reported (except those items under £10) an invoice or receipt detailing each item of expenditure must be provided in support.

    Item and Supplier Details
    (including the category the item
    falls under A to I)
    Date Amount Invoice no.
    (if attached)
    Invoice Paid Invoice Received


    B.   Unpaid claims

    In addition to payments listed above, I am aware of the following unpaid claims:

    Item/Service Date invoice received Action taken
    or to be taken
    £ pp


    C.   Declaration of value of notional expenditure over £50

    Please note: You may have few, if any, payments to report under this section. If you are unsure as to the type of expenditure that should be recorded in this section please refer to the accompanying guidance notes

    Item Date(s) or Period Expenditure Incurred Commercial Cost of Item Actual Cost Paid Value of Notional Expenditure


    The Electoral Commission

    Declaration by candidate as to election expenses

    Local government: Parish and community elections
    Election of a Councillor

    To be completed by the candidate to accompany the return of election expenses

    Please note: There is no longer any requirement for this declaration to be signed by a Justice of the Peace

    Election for the ward of the
    Parish/community of
    Date of publication of notice of the election
    Full name of candidate

    I solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

    1. The amount paid by me on behalf of my election expenses at the above election was £ _______.
    2. To the best of my knowledge and belief no other election expenses have been paid or incurred by me or by any other person or organisation in connection with my candidature.
    3. To the best of my knowledge and belief the accompanying return of election expenses is complete and correct as required by law.
    4. I understand that the law does not allow any election expenses not mentioned in the return to be defrayed except in pursuance of a court order.
    Signature of declarant


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