If you have trouble accessing the quiz, please email elearning@local.gov.uk

TAKE THE QUIZ

TAKE THE QUIZ

If you have trouble accessing the quiz, please email elearning@local.gov.uk

TAKE THE QUIZ

TAKE THE QUIZ

Be A Councillor, East Sussex County Council

What matters to you in your local area? Is it providing more things for young people to do, improving services for older people, making the roads safer or ensuring that local businesses can thrive? Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a county councillor.

East Sussex County Council can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it. The Council needs councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.

Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing the population of over half a million across East Sussex, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.

On Thursday 4 May 2017, all 50 East Sussex County Council seats are up for election. This is an opportunity for you to stand as a representative of your local community and become a county councillor.

If you think being a East Sussex county councillor is for you, test your eligibility to stand and find out more.

Find out about East Sussex County Council

County councillors are the elected representatives of East Sussex County Council. They are elected for four years unless they are elected at a by-election, in which case they must stand again at the next normal election for the seat.

Representing people in East Sussex, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action is the most important task that any councillor undertakes. Significantly, it is also often the role that local people value most.

East Sussex County Council covers a large geographical area, which, from May 2017, will be broken down into 50 electoral divisions. County councillors are elected to serve East Sussex and to specifically represent one of these electoral divisions on the council – making a total of 50 councillors. You can find out about the current political make-up of the council here.

Hear from East Sussex County councillors

Check back after the elections for councillor bios and videos

How do I become a councillor in East Sussex?

To become a councillor you have to stand at local elections and compete with other candidates to gain the most votes from the local electorate

You do not have to belong to or represent a political party to stand in the elections. You can stand as an Independent Candidate or choose not to have a description to your name. If you wish to represent a political party it must be one of the parties registered with the Electoral Commission.

If you choose to stand for a party you will need to go through their selection process before you can be put forward as their candidate.

If you’d like to find out more about being a councillor for a political party please visit:

Conservative

Bexhill and Battle Conservatives
BBCA,
6A Amherst Road,
Bexhill,
East Sussex
TN40 1QJ

01424 219 117
office@bbca.uk.com

Eastbourne Conservatives
69 Carlisle Road,
Eastbourne,
East Sussex
BN20 7EJ

01323 734 940
membership@eastbourneconservatives.org.uk

Hastings and Rye Conservatives
Swallow House,
Theaklen Drive,
St Leonards on Sea,
East Sussex
TN38 9AZ

01424 423 949
info@hastingsandryecons.org.uk

Lewes Conservatives
69 Carlisle Road,
Eastbourne,
East Sussex
BN20 7EJ

01323 734 940
jeanette@lewesconservatives.com

Wealden Conservatives
WCCA,
69 Carlisle Road,
Eastbourne,
East Sussex
BN20 7EJ

01323 734 940
membership@wealdenconservatives.com

Labour

Labour South East
3 Windsor Square,
Silver Street,
Reading
RG1 2TH

0118 923 9400
www.labour-southeast.org.uk

Liberal Democrats

South East Liberal Democrats
8-10 Great George Street,
London
SW1P 3AE

020 7222 7999
www.southeastlibdems.org.uk

If you are interested in other political parties, please view the Register of Political Parties.

What next?

In order to stand at the elections you must first obtain a candidate information pack from the elections officer at your local district council, who will explain the nomination process. Relevant forms including a set of nomination papers will be in the pack for you to complete. These packs are available nearer the election date.

Key Dates

Please find below some key dates for county councillors during their first few months of office. This includes training events and committee meetings. The minimum attendance of councillors is likely to be at the Full Council and any meetings of committees, working groups or outside bodies that you may be appointed to.

Council meetings are usually held during normal office hours (9am – 5pm), but can also occur in the evening. By law your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off to perform your duties as a councillor. However, it is advisable to discuss your intention to stand for election with your employer before submitting your nomination form.

The following link takes you to the Council’s calendar of meetings, which will give you an idea of the number and frequency of meetings:

https://democracy.eastsussex.gov.uk/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?GL=1&bcr=1

You can also watch our meetings live via the Council’s webcasting facility:

https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/webcasts/

Timetable for local elections in England and Wales: 4 May 2017

This timetable covers the following polls taking place on 4 May 2017:

  • local government principal area elections (i.e. district, borough, county borough and unitary authority elections)
  • parish and community council elections
  • local authority mayoral elections in England
  • combined authority mayoral elections in England

The days which are disregarded in calculating the timetable are Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, bank holidays (i.e. Monday 1 May) and any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

Please be aware that the timetable may change in the event of days being appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

The timetable has been developed based on draft legislation for combined authority mayoral elections and makes some assumptions about what the final legislation will provide for, and so it may be subject to change. We will update and re-publish the timetable as appropriate once the legislation is clear.

Event Election Working days before poll (deadline if not midnight) Date
Publication of notice of election All Not later than 25 days Monday 27 March
Delivery of nomination papers All, excluding combined authority mayoral elections From the date stated on the notice of election up to 4pm on the nineteenth working day before the election Tuesday 28 March to 4pm on Tuesday 4 April
Delivery of nomination papers Combined authority mayoral elections From the day after the publication of notice of election until 4pm on the nineteenth working day before the election (10am to 4pm) Between 10am and 4pm on any working day from Monday 27 March until 4pm on Tuesday 4 April
Deadline for withdrawals of nomination All 19 days (4pm) 4pm on Tuesday 4 April
Deadline for the notification of appointment of election agent All 19 days (4pm) 4pm on Tuesday 4 April
Making objections to nomination papers Combined authority mayoral elections On 19 days (10am to 5pm), subject to the following:

 

Between 10am and 12noon objections can be made to all delivered nominations
Between 12 noon and 5pm objections can only be made to nominations delivered after 4pm, 20 days before the poll

Between 10am and 12 noon on Tuesday 4 April objections can be made to all delivered nominations

 

Between 12 noon and 5pm on Tuesday 4 April objections can only be made to nominations delivered after 4pm on Monday 3 April

Publication of first interim election notice of alteration All 19 days

 

Tuesday 4 April
Publication of statement of persons nominated All Not later than 18 days (4pm) Not later than 4pm on Wednesday 5 April
Deadline for receiving applications for registration All 12 days Thursday 13 April
Deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications, and for changes to existing postal or proxy votes All 11 days (5pm) 5pm on Tuesday 18 April
Deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) All 6 days (5pm) 5pm on Tuesday 25 April
Publication of second interim election notice of alteration All Between 18 days and 6 days Wednesday 5 April
Publication of notice of poll All Not later than 6 days Tuesday 25 April
Publication of final election notice of alteration All 5 days Wednesday 26 April
Deadline for notification of appointment of polling and counting agents All 5 days Wednesday 26 April
First date that electors can apply for a replacement for lost postal votes All 4 days Thursday 27 April
Polling day

 

All 0 (7am to 10pm) Thursday 4 May
Last time that electors can apply for a replacement for spoilt or lost postal votes All 0 (5pm) 5pm on Thursday 4 May
Deadline for emergency proxy applications All 0 (5pm) 5pm on Thursday 4 May
Last time to alter the register due to clerical error or court appeal All 0 (9pm) 9pm on Thursday 4 May
Sending postal vote identifier rejection notices All Within 3 months beginning with the date of the poll By Thursday 3 August

Useful Resources

Be a councillor | Stand for What you believe in

A summary publication that outlines the role of a councillor and how the council works, gives perspectives from existing councillors and provides contact details for further information.

Be a councillor guide for disabled people

An interactive workbook, providing a more detailed, practical understanding of the role of a county councillor.

The Electoral Commission Candidate and Agent guidance – a link to all of the current guidance for Candidates and Candidate Agents

FAQs

Before the Election:

Are there any legal requirements to becoming a councillor?

Yes. The legal requirements to stand as a councillor are as follows:

 

To qualify as a candidate you must be:

  • Over 18 years of age on the day of nomination;
  • A United Kingdom, Commonwealth or EU citizen;

 

You must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be registered as a voter in the council area;
  • Have lived in the council area for the past 12 months (though not specifically in the electoral division you wish to stand);
  • Have occupied as owner or tenant of premises or land in the council area for the past 12 months;
  • Had your main place of work in the council area for the past 12 months.

 

You cannot stand for election if you:

  • are subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more, during the past five years;
  • work for the county council or hold a politically restricted job at another council.
  • have been disqualified under legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices

I’m still not sure about whether I am eligible to be a councillor at the 2017 election. How can I find out?

Test your eligibility or read the Electoral Commission’s guidance.

I would like to be a candidate for a political party. Who should I contact?

For contact information about each of the political groups, please see the tab above this one named ‘How do I become a councillor in East Sussex’.

How can I stand for council without joining a political party?

You can stand for council without belonging to a political party. You might find it helpful to read the Electoral Commission’s guidance for independent candidates

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/141785/Part-2a-Standing-as-an-independent-candidate-LGEW.pdf

Do I need to appoint an election agent?

It is advisable to appoint an election agent to act on your behalf. Your agent would, amongst other things, ensure that your forms are sent in correctly, keep a detailed record of financial expenditure for submission after the election and generally organise your campaign ensuring that it is lawful.

How do I find out which electoral division I live in?

You can find out which division you currently live in by clicking on the link below and using the post code search facility.  For the new Divisions, please use the maps on the Local Government Boundary Commission for England website:

https://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-east/east-sussex/east-sussex-county-council

After the Election:

Will I get paid to be a county councillor?

Councillors are not paid a salary but they are entitled to receive a ‘basic allowance’ which is intended to recognise the time devoted to their work on behalf of the people of East Sussex and in connection with council business.

Each council sets its own rate for members’ allowances, and you can find out more information from https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/about/people/councillors/interests

How much time will it take?

How much time you spend on your duties as a councillor is largely up to you and will depend on the particular commitments you take on. The precise amount of time will depend on the roles and commitments each councillor takes on and can vary. On average councillors can spend up to twenty five hours per week in leading roles, such as Cabinet Member or Scrutiny Chairs.

You will be expected to attend some council committee meetings, which are often held during the day. As with most things in life, what you get back will depend on how much you put in. But remember, the amount of time you give to it is almost entirely up to you.

Before you consider becoming a councillor you may want to discuss it with your family and friends to make sure they understand what you are taking on. You will need their support as you’ll have to spend some of your spare time on council business.

Will I get time off work?

Yes. By law if you are working, your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to perform your duties as a councillor. The amount of time given will depend on your responsibilities and the effect of your absence on your employer’s business.

You should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment to stand for election.

What support will I receive?

East Sussex County Council is committed to providing councillors with advice and support for all aspects of their role. After an election, all new councillors are required to attend an induction programme to enable them to meet the key people who will support them in their role and attend learning and development events to familiarise them with the work of the council, the expectations of councillors and ways in which they can carry out key tasks.

Councillors are also provided with ongoing learning and development support to broaden their knowledge, skills and confidence. In the first few weeks experienced county councillors will be available to guide you in getting to know the workings of the county council and your role within it.

You will also be offered ICT equipment which will allow you to access your email, intranet and other services whilst at home or on the go. The County Council has a paperless policy for its meetings supported by appropriate technology.

What support is available for councillors with special needs?

The County Hall complex is a DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) friendly campus. The council chamber and committee rooms are fitted with an audio loop system. Specialist office and ICT software may also be purchased for councillors with visual or hearing impairment. Councillors with special needs are encouraged to contact Member Services following their election to discuss their personal needs.

How can I find out about training and development?

Email democratic.services@eastsussex.gov.uk for further information.

Electoral division maps for East Sussex

Click on the link below to access maps showing the new electoral divisions for each of the districts in East Sussex which will be in place for the May 2017 election.  Instructions on how to navigate the maps are also included. Click on the ‘Final Recommendations’ link.

Please note: some files are of a considerable size and may therefore take a while to download to your device. All files are in PDF format. The approximate size of each file is indicated in italics.

Events

Useful Contacts

LGA contact

Helen Rankin
Adviser – Leadership and Localism

0207 6643068
Helen.Rankin@local.gov.uk

East Sussex County Council contacts

Paul Dean
Member Services Manager

01273 481751
paul.dean@eastsussex.gov.uk

Andy Cottell
Democratic Services Manager

01273 481955
andy.cottell@eastsussex.gov.uk

Electoral commission contact

The Electoral Commission (main office)
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

0333 1031928
pef@electoralcommission.org.uk

District Councils Electoral Officers

Eastbourne Borough Council

Tracey Pannett

01323 415074
Tracey.Pannett@eastbourne.gov.uk

Hastings Borough Council

Katrina Silverson

01424 451747
KSilverson@hastings.gov.uk

Lewes District Council

Abi Blanshard

01273 471600
Abi.Blanshard@lewes.gov.uk

Rother District Council

Susanne Malmgren

01424 787825
susanne.malmgren@rother.gov.uk

Wealden District Council

Heather Blanshard

01892 602416
Heather.Blanshard@wealden.gov.uk