Here is a round-up of the 2022 local elections on the horizon in Oxford and across Oxfordshire.
There will be Oxford City Council elections in all 24 wards in Oxford, with one councillor to be elected in each ward. The other councillor in each ward is due for re-election in May 2024. Parish council elections will also take place in Blackbird Leys Parish Council (14 vacancies) and Old Marston Parish Council (12 vacancies).
Cherwell District Council has three councillors representing each of its 16 wards. A third of the seats, one per ward, are up for election three out of every four years. 31 parish councils in the district also have scheduled elections on the same date, and there will be one unscheduled parish by-election.
There will be elections for 16 seats on West Oxfordshire District Council and for a total of 115 seats on 17 Parish and Town Councils. The 16 seats are for one seat in each of the district’s wards. In addition, there are elections to fill two vacancies on Chipping Norton Town Council – one on Stonesfield Parish Council and the other on Witney Town Council (for the West Ward).
The next scheduled South Oxfordshire District Council and parish elections will be held on Thursday, 04 May 2023. The election of a parish councillor for Goring-on-Thames will take place on 21 April 2022.
There are no elections or referendums scheduled to take place within Vale of White Horse District Council during 2022. The next scheduled parish elections will be held on Thursday, 04 May 2023. However, there will be a by-election to elect a district councillor for Steventon & the Hanneys on 05 May 2022.
There are no local elections scheduled in 2022 for Oxfordshire County Council councillors. The next county council elections will be on Thursday, 01 May 2025.
Anyone who has moved home since they last registered to vote, has changed their name or recently turned 18 will need to register to vote before midnight on 14 April if they want to have their say on polling day.
Those already registered to vote at their current address do not need to re-register, and polling cards are already being sent out to them. Polling cards show people where their polling station is and which elections are scheduled where they live.
The deadline for people to register to vote is 11:59pm on Thursday, 14 April. It helps if people have their national insurance numbers to hand when registering to vote.
If you don’t think you can make it to the polling station on 05 May to cast your vote in the local election, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. If you can’t vote in person, you can vote by post or by appointing someone you trust to vote in your place, which is known as a proxy vote.
You can apply for a postal vote for a single election on a specific date, for a specific period, or permanently. If you are not already registered for a postal vote, and you want one for the election on 05 May, you need to apply by 5.00pm on 19 April.
The City Council must collect signatures and dates of birth to check postal votes cast at election time to prevent and detect electoral fraud and to protect votes. This means you’ll need to download a postal vote application form from the Electoral Commission website.
Once complete, the form needs to be delivered to the Elections Office at your local authority.
An alternative to a postal vote is a proxy vote. To apply for a proxy vote, you have to complete a form and give a reason why you can’t get to your polling station in person. This may be because you’re going to be away or have a physical condition that means you can’t get to your polling station.
You can download the proxy vote application form from the Electoral Commission website. You will then need to complete and sign the form and return it to the Elections Office at your local authority. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote for this election is 5.00pm on 26 April.
“No one needs to miss out on voting in this election just because they can’t make it down to their polling stations. Postal and proxy voting provides an easy alternative for those who can’t or don’t want to vote in person.
“Applying is straightforward, but please don’t leave applications until the last minute, especially if you’re sending them to us around the Easter period when there might be delays in the post.”
—Susan Sale, Electoral Registration Officer for Oxford City Council
“District councillors are in charge of vital public services like planning, housing, leisure and waste collection. We want as many people as possible to have their say on who they want as their local representatives.
“Postal and proxy votes are great options to have if you think you may not be able to get to the polling station on 05 May. We are asking people to plan ahead based on what’s right for them and make sure they are aware of the various important deadlines.”
—Yvonne Rees, Returning Officer, Cherwell District Council