Tees Valley Mayoral Election

Tees Valley Combined Authority Area

Some Key Issues for

Prospective Candidates and their Agents


The key issues highlighted in this guidance note concern the Combined Authority Mayoral elections that will be held in certain parts of England on Thursday 4th May 2017, and more specifically the election of the Tees Valley Mayor for the Tees Valley Combined Authority Area (the combined administrative areas of the Councils of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees).

The Combined Authority Returning Officer

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Returning Officer (and Monitoring Officer) is the appointed Combined Authority Returning Officer (“CARO”) for the Tees Valley Combined Authority Area, and is responsible for the overall conduct of the election of the Tees Valley Mayor.

The CARO is also the Returning Officer for the Stockton-on-Tees administrative area, and liaises with and co-ordinates the work of the Returning Officers for each of the other four Borough areas.

Returning Officers

The Returning Officers for the Tees Valley Combined Authority Area are as follows:-

Darlington –Ada Burns

Hartlepool – Peter Devlin

Middlesbrough – Bryn Roberts

Redcar and Cleveland – Amanda Skelton

Stockton-on-Tees – David Bond

Returning Officers are personally responsible for the conduct of the election in their administrative area, including:-

  • The provision and equipment of polling stations
  • Printing the ballot papers
  • Appointment and training of polling station staff
  • Conduct of the poll
  • The notice of situation of polling stations
  • The notification of secrecy requirements at polling stations
  • Signing certificates of employment for polling station staff to allow them to vote at the polling station they are working at, as opposed to the one allocated to them
  • Authorisation to order removal of persons from polling stations
  • Management of the postal vote process
  • Verification of ballot papers and counting of the votes
  • Transmission of the local totals (verified ballot papers and counted votes) to the CARO.

Combined Elections

Currently there are no other elections planned for the 4thMay 2017 in the Tees Valley Combined Authority Area.

If this should change, further information will be provided about the arrangements for the combined polls.

Notice of Election

The notice of election for the Tees Valley Mayoral Election will be published throughout the Combined Authority Area on 23rdMarch.

The notice will include specific details of the place and times at which nomination papers can be obtained, and at which nomination papers can be delivered.


A candidate’s pack of nomination papers has been produced by the Electoral Commission ( which contains all of the forms needed for nomination.

A set can also be obtained from the CARO (Stockton Electoral Services – telephone 01642 526196 – email: ). This will contain a set of nomination papers, together with a range of other documents providing important information about the election.

Please contact Electoral Services at Stockton, in advance, in order to arrange an informal check of any nomination papers you may have prepared.

Delivery of nomination papers

A candidate will only be validly nominated if by 4.00pm on Thursday 4thApril, 2017 their completed nomination papers have been delivered by hand at the place specified in the notice of election. This will be the elections office, Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees.

The nomination papers are:-

  • The nomination form
  • A consent to nomination

A deposit of £5,000 will also be required to be delivered by the same deadline.

If a candidate wishes to stand on behalf of a registered political party, that party must be registered for the purpose with the electoral commission.

The candidate will also need to deliver by the 4.00pm, 4th April deadline:-

  • A certificate authorising the candidate’s use of the party’s registered name or one of its registered descriptions
  • A written request to use one of the party’s registered emblems (if desired).

Nomination papers can only be delivered between the hours of 10.00am and 4.00pm on any working day after 23rdMarch, until 4.00pm on 4th April. They cannot be delivered on a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday.

Although no appointment is required in order to deliver nomination papers, it would be helpful if advance notice of delivery could be provided to minimise any waiting or delays which may otherwise occur if more than one set of nomination papers are delivered at or around the same time.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that their nomination papers are delivered in the correct manner and by the required deadline.

How to deliver nomination papers

There are no restrictions on who can deliver nomination papers. However, candidates, their agents or someone they trust should deliver the nomination papers, so that they can be sure that they are delivered on time.

The following must be delivered by hand:

  • Nomination form
  • Consent to nomination

They cannot be submitted by post, fax, email or other electronic means.

The following must be delivered either by hand or by post:

  • Certificate of authorisation
  • Emblem request form

They cannot be submitted by fax, email, or other electronic means.

All of these documents (nomination form, consent to nomination,etc.) must be the original versions of each completed document. They cannot be photocopies, or electronic printed off versions.


The deposit of £5,000 can be delivered to the CARO by the candidate or by someone acting on their behalf. If not the candidate, the person must provide details of their name and address. The deposit can be paid by legal tender (cash in British pounds only); by means of a banker’s draft from a drawer carrying on business as a banker in the United Kingdom or by electronic transfer (details will be provided in the Notice of Election).

Information on nomination papers

Please note that nomination papers are not public documents.

They can only be inspected by a validly nominated candidate; their election agent; their proposer or seconder; and one other person if the candidate is their own election agent.

Only the nomination form can be objected to.

Information from this form must only be used to:

  • Object to the nomination
  • Lodge an election petition
  • Make a complaint to the police about a false statement

Any other use may be in breach of data protection requirements and could render the user liable to criminal prosecution.

Commonly Used Names

A candidate can ask for their commonly used name to be used on the nomination form; statement of persons nominated; notice of poll; and the ballot papers.

Please however note that if a candidate is named JOHN ANDREW JONES, they would not be able to use JOHN JONES as their commonly used name. They could use JOHNNY JONES if Johnny was the name by which they were commonly known.

If a nomination paper is received by the CARO which has been completed in this way, this will be drawn to the candidate’s or agent’s attention.

Criminal Offences

Please note in this respect that it is an offence knowingly to make a false statement on a nomination form, or other nomination papers.

The penalty for a false statement is an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment of up to a year.

A candidate will also run the risk of challenge if they are elected.

Consent to Nomination

Please also note that candidates mustnot sign their consent to nomination forms earlier than 4thMarch 2017.

Election Addresses

The deadline for the submission to the CARO of election addresses is 4.00pm on 4th April 2017.

The candidates’ contributions of £750 (each) towards the cost of the production of the booklet containing the election addresses must also have been received by the CARO by this deadline. The CARO will be required to check that the address submitted by a candidate’s election agent complies with all of the legal requirements. If it does not, it will have to be sent back to the election agent. It will then need to be resubmitted by the agent to the CARO by the 4.00pm deadline on 4th April.

To ensure that this deadline can be met, and to avoid an election address not being accepted, it should be submitted as early as possible to the CARO to allow sufficient time for it to be considered, for any required amendments or corrections to be made, and for it to be re-submitted to the CARO by the agreed deadline for receipt.

Spending and donations

The rules on spending and donations are complex. Please refer to and consider carefully the Electoral Commission’s guidance.

The spending limit for the regulated period (starting on the day after a person officially becomes a candidate and ending with polling day on 4thMay 2017) is £2,362 multiplied by 5 (the number of constituent councils) plus 5.9p for each elector on the registers of electors in force on the last day of publication of the notice of election for the Tees Valley Mayoral Election (27th March 2017). These are the registers in force on 1st March 2017.

The Campaign

Please read carefully the Electoral Commission’s (part 4) guidance on the campaign.

In particular, for instance, candidates should make sure their supporters are courteous when dealing with other candidates and their supporters, and that they follow the code of conduct for campaigners.

A candidate must not knowingly make a false statement about the personal character of another candidate.

A candidate must not pay canvassers. ‘Canvassing’ means trying to persuade an elector to vote for or againsta particular candidate.

Electoral Registers

When a person officially becomes a candidate, they are entitled to all of the electoral registers for the Combined Authority Area, and the lists of people voting by post or proxy.

These documents contain personal information and their use is accordingly strictly controlled.

A candidate can use the registers and lists to complete their nomination form; assist with their campaign, and to check that donations are permissible.

A candidate should not use the registers or lists for any other purpose, and should not pass them, or copies of them, to anyone outside their campaign.

Any person found breaching these restrictions could face an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

Imprints on election material

Candidates and their agents should always ensure that imprints are used on all of their campaign material and any electronic material that is designed to be printed off locally.

A standard imprint is:-

Printed by (printer’s name and address).

Promoted by (agent’s name) of (agent’s address), on behalf of (candidate’s name) of (candidate’s address).

Electoral Offences

If a person is concerned whether or not an electoral offence may have been committed, the Elections Office may be able to explain if that is possibly the case, and can assist in referring the concerns to the Police.

If a person has evidence that an offence has been committed, they should contact the police immediately using the non-emergency 101 number. A statement will need to be provided to substantiate an allegation.

Any allegations regarding election finances, such as spending or donations should be referred to the Electoral Commission’s Party Election Finance team via email: or by telephoning 0333 1031928.

Please contact the Elections office, in the first instance, if there are any queries about any of this information. The Elections office can be contacted as follows:-

Electoral Services

PO Box 11

Municipal Buildings

Church Road


TS18 1LD

Tel: 01642 526196 Email:

Printed and published by:

The Combined Authority Returning Officer, Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS181LD

PA/DOLD/DB/TVCA Key Issues for Prospective Candidates and their Agents