Skip Navigation

Elections Explained

Fenland District Council is responsible for the conduct of a wide range of different types of elections. You can only vote at elections if you are registered to vote.

Fenland District Council

District council elections are held every 4 years in May.

The district is divided into 24 wards and is represented by 39 councillors. Current councillors and the wards that they represent can be viewed at: Councillors, Committees and Council Meetings

Parish and Town Councils

Held every 4 years in May and is usually combined with District Council elections. Current Parish Council information can be viewed: Parish and Town Councils and Councillors

Cambridgeshire County Council

The District Council holds these elections on behalf of the County Council. These elections are held every four years, usually the first Thursday in May, for the 11 divisions, which are single councillor wards.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayoral Election

The first election takes place on 4 May 2017, then in 2021 and in every fourth year thereafter.

The combined authority area comprises of the following Councils; Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Peterborough City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, together with the Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership.

Please see for further information.

Police and Crime Commissioner

These elections take place every four years usually the first Thursday in May.

The PCC is accountable for how crime is tackled in their police force area, holds the Chief Constable and their forces to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.


MPs are voted into the House of Commons at Parliamentary General Election.

The District Council organises the elections for the North-East Cambridgeshire Parliamentary constituency. This constituency covers the same area as the District boundary but includes parts of East Cambridgeshire District (Littleport, Mepal and Sutton) to the south.

Parliamentary elections are held on the first Thursday in May every 5 years, except in very exceptional circumstances.

European Parliament

The Council also organises the European Parliamentary elections in the Fenland District Council area.There are nine electoral regions in England and the District falls in the Eastern Region, which is represented by 7 members.

European Parliament elections are held usually in June every 5 years on a date predetermined by the Secretary of State. These elections can be combined with local elections meaning local elections would be held a month later than normal.

By Elections

A by-election is an election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections, usually when a councillor or MP has resigned or died, but may also occur if they become ineligible to continue in office.  Information about by-elections will be published on the Election Notices page.


A referendum is when the electorate is asked to vote on a single issue. It can be a nationwide vote or only based in a specific area.

There are no scheduled referendum scheduled at the moment, but there may be some in the future, about issues such as membership of the EU or any proposed rises in Council Tax.

Mayoral Petitions

The Local Government Act 2000 allows you to petition your council to hold a referendum on whether local people should elect a mayor to lead the council.

For each local authority there is an executive and is organised in one of the following options:

  • a directly elected mayor and a council manager appointed by the council;
  • a leader elected by the council and a cabinet of councillors; or
  • a directly elected mayor and a cabinet of councillors

We currently have a Leader, elected by the Council and a Cabinet of Councillors.

A directly elected mayor is elected by all the voters in the council's area to be the head of the council's decision making body.

Having a directly elected mayor is a constitutional change and a referendum is held to give all voters in Fenland a chance to choose if they would want this arrangement.

In order to call a referendum for a directly elected mayor, a petition must be raised which is signed by 5% of local government electors that are included in the current Register of Electors.

The verification figure is published annually in a formal notice: pdf icon Notice of Verification Number [9kb]