STAND FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

How do I become a councillor?

Once you decide you want to take it further and put yourself forward as a candidate, what’s the next step? The answer depends on whether you want to represent a political party or stand as an independent candidate. If you want to represent a political party then the next step would be to get involved with your party locally as soon as possible. This will help you find out more about what the role entails, who you will be working with and what it takes to win elections.

Ultimately it’s up to the political parties’ local groups to decide whether to select you as a candidate, so you need to make contact with them as soon as possible and get involved with their work. Political parties will expect you to be, or become, a party member. Further sources of information and support are listed in the ‘useful contacts’ section below.

If you are thinking of standing as an independent candidate you can contact your council’s electoral services department to see when elections are next taking place. You’ll need to start building your profile with local people and working out your position on local “hot” issues such as crime, traffic, the environment and schools. The Local Government Association’s (LGA) independent group can also provide information. You can find out more on their website: www.lgaindependent.local.gov.uk

Whether you have been selected by a party or are standing as an independent candidate, you must make sure that you are officially nominated as the election date draws nearer. This means getting 10 people to sign your nomination papers (signatories must be registered electors in the ward where you wish to stand). These papers are available from your local council’s democratic services department. You must also give your consent in writing to your nomination. All the necessary documents must be submitted 19 working days before the day of the election. For more information on this contact your local council.

Will I get paid for being a councillor?

Councillors do not receive a salary. However, they do get a ‘members’ allowance’ in recognition of their time and expenses incurred while on council business. Each council sets its own rate for members’ allowances, and you can find out more information about allowances from your local council or through its website.

Next steps to becoming a councillor

Once you decide you want to take it further and put yourself forward as a candidate, what’s the next step? The answer depends on whether you want to represent a political party or group or would like to stand as an independent candidate. If you want to represent a political party then the next step would be to get involved with your party locally as soon as possible. This will help you find out more about what the role entails, who you will be working with and what it takes to win elections.

Ultimately it’s up to the political parties’ local groups to decide whether to select you as a candidate, so you need to make contact with them as soon as possible and get involved with their work. Political parties will expect you to be, or become, a party member. Further sources of information and support are listed in the ‘useful contacts’ section of this booklet.

If you are thinking of standing as an independent candidate you can contact your council’s electoral services department to see when elections are next taking place. The Local Government Association’s (LGA) independent group can also provide information. Contact details can be found here [add link to contact details section].

Your next step as an independent candidate is to start building your profile so that local people know who you are, and working out your position on local ‘hot’ issues such as crime, traffic, the environment and schools. You will need to know what your local council is doing about these issues and how your own opinion differs from the political parties. Nearer election time, as you start going door to door persuading people to vote for you, you will be challenged on your opinions.

Whether you have been selected by a party or are standing as an independent candidate, you must make sure that you are officially nominated as the election date draws nearer. This means getting 10 people to sign your nomination papers (signatories must be registered electors in the ward where you wish to stand). These papers are available from your local council’s democratic services department. You must also give your consent in writing to your nomination. All the necessary documents must be submitted 19 working days before the day of the election. For more information on this contact your local council.

The timescales

Councillors are elected for four-year terms, but councils run different electoral cycles. Some elect the whole council once every four years, while others elect a proportion of members each year. To find out when local elections are due to take place in your area, contact your local council or visit its website.

Useful contacts

Labour

Labour Group Office, LGA
Martin Angus

020 7664 3134
martin.angus@local.gov.uk

Conservatives

Conservative Group Office, LGA
020 7664 3264
lgaconservatives@local.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats

Terry Stacy
0207 664 3235
terry.stacy@local.gov.uk

Rob Banks
020 7664 3204
rob.banks@local.gov.uk

www.libdemgroup.lga.gov.uk
skype: lgalibdems

Independent

Independent Group, LGA
0207 6643206
Independent.GroupLGA@local.gov.uk