How to Become a Councillor

Are you passionate about your environment and your community? What matters to you in your area? Do you have ideas, interests, or experiences to improve the area and the wellbeing of people in your neighbourhood? Would you like to make a difference by influencing decisions that affect the residents and businesses where you live? If so, you may wish to consider becoming a Community Councillor. Or you may know someone who would be just right for the job that you would like to encourage or nominate to become a Councillor?

By becoming a Community councillor, you will become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support – a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve.

Being a good councillor will require commitment and hard work, but it can be a very rewarding and positive experience.  You will need to balance the needs and interests of residents, the political party you represent (if any) and the council. It is important to consider this in conjunction with the needs of your personal and professional life.  Having support from family and friends when you are taking on this role is invaluable.

Community Councillors are elected by the public to represent them. Ordinary elections of local councillors usually take place on the first Thursday in May, normally every four years. The next election is due in May 2022. If a seat becomes vacant mid-term the Council may be required to hold a by-election.

To be a local councillor you must be at least 18 years old on the ‘relevant’ date, and a British, Commonwealth, or European citizen. You also need to be a local elector or have lived, worked or owned a property in the council area (or within 3 miles of it) for at least a year.

You cannot stand for election if you:

  • are subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order.
  • have, within five years before the day of the election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine.
  • you work for the council you want to become a councillor for (but you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area).

Many community councillors are not party political and will stand as independent candidate. You are also able to stand as a member of a political party / group.

To be considered, you must make sure you are officially nominated as the election date draws near. This means getting 10 people to sign nomination papers (signatories must be registered electors in the ward where you wish to stand).

We currently have two vacancies on the BTM Community Council, one in Trethomas and one in Machen. We are currently waiting to hold the by-elections but have unfortunately been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. A date will be confirmed in due course.

In certain circumstances, the Council can co-opt members to the Council. Co-option is where the Council chooses to fill the vacant seats if there are not enough candidates at election time.

If you are interested and would like any further information or an informal discussion, please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk on 02920  885137 or