Could You Be A Councillor in Huntingdonshire?

Be A Councillor, Huntingdonshire District Council

Huntingdonshire has a diverse mix of market towns and rural villages. As a district council, we provide a range of services to our residents, including refuse and recycling collection, car parking, leisure facilities, environmental health, planning and conservation, markets, parks and open spaces, elections, housing advice, housing benefit and council tax support as well as business growth support. What matters to you in the district? Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a councillor.

Huntingdonshire District 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 a population of over 176,000 across the District, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.

On Thursday 3 May 2018, all 52 Huntingdonshire District Council seats are up for election. This is an opportunity for you to stand as a representative of your local community and become a district councillor.

Find out about Huntingdonshire District Council

Local councillors are the elected representatives of Huntingdonshire District 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 Huntingdonshire, 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.

Huntingdonshire District Council is made up of 52 councillors who are elected every 4 years. They represent 26 wards across the District. The number of councillors for each ward depends upon the size of the electorate.

You can find out more about the political make-up of the Council, by clicking here:
http://www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/council-democracy/meetings-and-decision-making/councillors/

Huntingdonshire District Council – Our Vision

Local councillors are the elected representatives of Huntingdonshire District Council. This is an exciting and challenging time for the Council, especially following the creation of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority. As we continue to grow and meet the challenges ahead, the support of our councillors will be essential.

We have a vision for our future and our Corporate Plan sets out our priorities for 2017-18. It can be viewed here: http://www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/media/1390/corporate-plan.pdf

As a Council, we are transforming the way we do business. Our Mosaic programme will help us to deliver continuous improvement, change and move towards a new and improved Council. By doing this we will be putting our organisation in a position where we can predict and respond to whatever comes our way in the future and help our customers.

Click here to view a short film about our Mosaic programme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au1T7hjHBGw

How do I become a councillor in Huntingdonshire??

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 would like to find out more about being a councillor for a political party please visit:

http://www.local.gov.uk/political-groups

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

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/PEF-online-registers

What next?

In order to stand at the elections you must first get a set of nomination papers from
The Electoral Services team at Huntingdonshire District Council, which will explain the nomination process. These packs are available nearer the election date. Information about Huntingdonshire’s Electoral Services is available here:

http://www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/elections/https://guildford.gov.uk/elections

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 ward 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 District 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 2018 election. How can I find out?

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 Huntingdonshire’.

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

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.

After the Election:

Will I get paid to be a 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 Huntingdonshire and in connection with council business.

Each council sets its own rate for councillors’ allowances, and you can find out more information from http://www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/media/1370/members-allowances-scheme.pdf

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 considerably. On average councillors spend around 7.5 hours per week on Council business, but the time spent can increase for members allocated to leading roles, such as Executive Members, Committee Chairman or a Panel Chairman.

You will be expected to attend Council meetings and meetings of committees or panels to which you have been appointed, which are mostly held during the evening. As with most things in life, what you get back will depend on how much you put in. However, 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 will 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?

Huntingdonshire District Council is committed to providing councillors with advice and support for all aspects of their role. After an election, all new councillors have the opportunity to attend an induction programme to enable them to meet the key people who will support them in their role and attend 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 councillors will be available to guide you in getting to know the workings of the District Council and your role within it. Member Services will be your point of contact to signpost you round the council for the first couple of months.

IT support is given to all Members, further details will be available at the Be A Councillor event on 15 November or by contacting Member Services.

What support is available for councillors with disabilities?

An audio loop system is available in Council Chamber for people with a hearing impairment. Councillors are encouraged to contact Member Services following their election to discuss their personal needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made.

How can I find out about Member training and development?

Email tom.batha@huntingdonshire.gov.uk for further information.

Electoral ward maps for Huntingdonshire District Council

The map below shows the electoral wards in Huntingdonshire.

Download PDF here

Key Dates

Council meetings are usually held in the evening starting at 7pm but can occasionally occur during the day.

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:

http://applications.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/moderngov/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?GL=1&bcr=1

Events

We are holding an event for prospective Councillors. Please click here for more information.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/be-a-councillor-huntingdonshire-district-council-tickets-38727587256

Useful Resources

Be a councillor | Stand for What you believe in

A guide to being a councillor – A summary publication that outlines the role of a councillor and how the council works, 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

Useful contacts

LGA contact

Virginia Ponton
Adviser – Leadership and Localism

Tel: 0207 664 3272
Email: beacouncillor@local.gov.uk

Huntingdonshire District Council contacts

Lisa Jablonska
Elections and Democratic Services Manager & Deputy Monitoring Officer

Huntingdonshire District Council
Pathfinder House
St Mary’s Street
Huntingdon
PE29 3TN

Tel: 01480 388004
Email: lisa.jablonska@huntingdonshire.gov.uk

Electoral commission contact

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

Tel: 0333 1031928
Email: pef@electoralcommission.org.uk

Political Group Office Contacts

The Conservative Party

Ryan Fuller
HCCA
Centenary House
St Mary’s Street
Huntingdon
PE29 3PE

Tel: 01480 453062
Email: admin@huntscca.co.uk

UK Independence Party

Lisa Duffy
4 Meadow Walk
Ramsey
PE26 1JY

Tel: 07775 693420
Email: duffy.lisa6@gmail.com