Be A Councillor LGA campaign Amina Lone

Could You Be A Councillor in Lichfield District?

Be a Councillor, Lichfield District Council

What matters to you in your local area?

Is it ensuring local people have access to good local homes? Are you passionate about boosting recycling rates? Do you want to ensure local parks and open spaces are protected and better used? Or are you committed to helping local businesses thrive?

Lichfield District Council’s vision is to be a strong and flexible council that delivers good value, quality services. We want to support a vibrant and prosperous economy, healthy and safe communities and clean, green and welcoming places to live.

To support this vision, we need engaged and passionate councillors to be the eyes, ears and voices of our communities, to help solve local problems and represent ward needs and interests in council decisions – we know we can only be as effective, in touch and driven as the people who are elected to run the council, so we need councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.

Perhaps you are already involved in local affairs and want to take the next step. Or you may be looking for a worthwhile and rewarding way to help your local community.

Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing a population of over 100,000 across the district, understanding the issues and concerns they face, and helping to drive forward action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.

On Thursday 2 May 2019, all 47 Lichfield District Council, and all parish and town 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 or parish councillor.

Find out about Lichfield District Council

Local councillors are the elected representatives of Lichfield District.

There are 47 councillors who represent 26 wards across Lichfield City, Burntwood, and rural areas, stretching from Colton and Handsacre in the north, through to Wiggington and Clifton Campville in the east, Chase Terrace and Chasetown in the west, and Little Aston and Canwell in the south.

Some wards are represented by three councillors, and others are represented by just one or two councillors.

Representing people in Lichfield District, understanding the issues and concerns they face, and helping to drive forward action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes. Significantly, it is also often the role that local people value most.

You can find out more about the current make-up of the council and see all the current councillors at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/localcouncillors

How do I become a councillor in Lichfield District?

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

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

What next?

In order to stand at the elections you must first get a set of nomination papers from the electoral services team at Lichfield District Council, which will explain the nomination process. 

These packs are available from the electoral services team nearer the election date (usually in March). 

A candidates and agents briefing will also be held to provide further information to prospective candidates about standing for election. 

Electoral services team, contact details

Tel: 01543 308125 

Email: elections@lichfielddc.gov.uk

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 ward that you wish to stand for)
  • have occupied as owner or tenant of premises or land in the borough council area for the past 12 months
  • had your main place of work in the borough 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 any other council
  • have been disqualified under legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices.

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 Lichfield District’.

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

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

Do I need to appoint an election agent?

The election agent is the person responsible for the proper management of your election campaign and for its financial management. If you don’t appoint an election agent you will become your own agent by default. Some political parties will provide an election agent to work on your behalf. You can find out more about the role of an election agent in part 2a and 2b of the Electoral Commission guidance for Candidates and Agents. Find out more >

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

You can find out which ward you currently live in by clicking on the link below and using the post code search facility.

Find out more >

However, as the council is undergoing an electoral review, ward boundaries and names are set to change before the May 2019 elections (see section on Reigate & Banstead Ward Boundaries for more info).

After the Election:

Will I get paid to be a borough 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 Lichfield District and in connection with council business.

Each council sets its own rate for councillors’ allowances, and you can find out more information from here

How much time will it take?

You will be expected to attend full council meetings and meetings of any of the committees you become part of. Meetings are mostly held during the evening.

In addition to meetings, 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.

On average councillors can spend up to twenty-five hours per week, but the time spent can increase for members allocated to leading roles, such as cabinet members or committee chairs.

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.

As with most things in life, what you get back will depend on how much you put in.

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?

Lichfield 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 induction and training sessions to enable them to meet key people, familiarise themselves with the work of the council, and understand 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.

The full range of induction, training and support on offer, along with key contacts, is outlined in a welcome pack provided to each new councillor, and on the council’s intranet, so that you can always be in touch with the latest opportunities.

What support is available for councillors with with disabilities?

Councillors are encouraged to contact Bal/member services team following their election to discuss their personal needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made.

Electoral ward maps for Lichfield District Council

Click on the link here to access maps showing the electoral wards in Lichfield.

Key Dates

Council meetings are usually held in the evening starting at 6pm 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 here

Events

Be a Councillor sessions

District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield WS13 6ZB

Wednesday 10 October 2018

1pm to 4pm & 5pm to 8pm

If you are interested in local government, discover what it’s like to be a councillor and how rewarding the role can be at Lichfield District Council’s ‘Be a Councillor’ event on 10 October 2018.

The day will feature two ‘Be a Councillor’ sessions at District Council House in Lichfield. The first will run from 1pm to 4pm and the second from 5pm to 8pm.

At the sessions, you will find out what the council does and the role of a councillor, important skills for councillors to have, as well as relationships, networking, stakeholders and influencing.

It’s hoped people from different backgrounds, experiences and positions will consider standing for seats on the district council in the May 2019 elections.

The sessions will also feature serving district councillors and a team from the Local Government Association, who work to support councillor development across the country.

To register your interest in attending either of the sessions, please email christine.lewis@lichfielddc.gov.uk.

Useful Contacts

Local Government Association (LGA)

Michael Barrett
Adviser – Leadership and Localism

0207 664 3162
beacouncillor@local.gov.uk
www.local.gov.uk

Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission (main office)

3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

0333 1031928
pef@electoralcommission.org.uk
www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Lichfield District Council

Electoral Services

01543 308125
elections@lichfielddc.gov.uk 

 

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

Guide Book

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Work Book

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