The Returning Officer is the person who has the overall responsibility for the conduct of elections. The Returning Officer is an officer of the Council who is appointed under the Representation of the People Act 1983. Although appointed by the Council, the role of the Returning Officer is one of a personal nature and distinct and separate from their duties as an employee of the council.
The Returning Officer for South Tyneside Council is Martin Swales, Chief Executive. He is also Acting Returning Officer at Parliamentary (General) elections, Local Returning Officer at European Parliamentary and Police & Crime Commissioner elections and Counting Officer for any National Referenda.