How to Become a Councillor

Community Councillors are elected by the public.

You will be held accountable by local people for things that happen locally; so why do you get involved? You almost certainly want to do something positive and, like most councillors, you hope to make a difference by influencing decisions that affect your community. Councillors should work together to serve the community.

To be a local councillor you must be at least 18 years old 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 area for at least a year.

There are two main routes to becoming a councillor;

  • by standing for a political party / group,    or
  • as an independent.

Ordinary elections of local councillors usually take place on the first Thursday in May, normally every five 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. In certain circumstances the Council may then co-opt members to the Council.

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). Co-option is where the Council chooses to fill the vacant seats if there are not enough candidates at election time.