When a community councillor resigns from a community council in Wales, what are the rules and requirements for filling that vacancy? I know sometimes a by-election is held and sometimes new councillors can be appointed by co-option. Is this at the discretion of council or are there rules in place for when and how it must be filled? As a full local election is currently 5 months away would a community council be allowed to leave the position vacant?
Community councillors are elected by the local government electors for the community and hold office for a term of 4 years. The chair is elected annually by the council from among the councillors.
If a vacancy happens within 6 months of the next election of the full Council, then a Notice of Casual Vacancy has to still be posted but there is no provision for an election to be called.
The '6 month rule' given in the document from the website of the City and County of Swansea (Dinas a Sir Abertawe) above is drawn from the Local Government Act 1972.
89 Filling of casual vacancies in case of councillors.
(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, on a casual vacancy occurring in the office of councillor for any principal area, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held—
(a)in a case in which the High Court or the council have declared the office to be vacant, within [F307thirty-five days] (computed in accordance with section 243(4) below) from the date of the declaration;
(b)in any other case, within [F307thirty-five days] (so computed) after notice in writing of the vacancy has been given to the proper officer of the authority by two local government electors for the area.
(2)The day of election to fill a casual vacancy in any office mentioned in subsection (1) above shall be fixed by the returning officer F308. . .
(3)Where a casual vacancy in any such office occurs within six months before the day on which the councillor whose office is vacant would regularly have retired, an election shall not be held under subsection (1) above unless on the occurrence of the vacancy (or in the case of a number of simultaneous vacancies, the occurrence of the vacancies) the total number of unfilled vacancies in the membership of the council exceeds one third of the whole number of members; and where an election under subsection (1) above is not held, the vacancy shall be filled at the next ordinary election.
Emphasis mine. Source: Local Government Act 1927 Could someone add the link, I don't have the rep!
To answer the other part of your question, the rules and procedures for filling these kinds of vacancies are largely drawn from the Local Government Act 1972, however local government is a devolved issue and thus as Welsh Government legislates it can override the LGA1972 as it applies to Wales.