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?
A city on a transformation journey, with £3.7 billion investment creating opportunities for local people, Wolverhampton is a fantastic city to live, work and visit. Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a councillor.
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.
City of Wolverhampton 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 249,000 across the city, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.
On Thursday 2 May 2019, a third of City of Wolverhampton Council seats (20) are up for election. This is an opportunity for you to stand as a representative of your local community and become a City of Wolverhampton Councillor.
If you think being a City of Wolverhampton councillor is for you, test your eligibility to stand and find out more.
Local Councillors are the elected representatives of City of Wolverhampton Council.
There are 60 councillors who represent the 20 wards in the city. There are three councillors representing each ward.
City of Wolverhampton Council votes by thirds, which means that a third of councillors are elected every year over a four year cycle (with no elections in the fourth year).
Representing people in Wolverhampton, 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.
You can find out more about the political make-up of the Council, by clicking here: http://wolverhampton.moderngov.co.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=PARTY&VW=LIST&PIC=0
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: http://www.local.gov.uk/political-groups
If you are interested in other political parties, please view the Register of Political Parties.
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.
An interactive workbook, providing a more detailed, practical understanding of the role of a councillor.
The Electoral Commission Candidate and Agent guidance – a link to all of the current guidance for Candidates and Candidate Agents
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:
You must meet at least one of the following criteria:
You cannot stand for election if you:
I’m still not sure about whether I am eligible to be a councillor at the 2019 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 Wolverhampton’.
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.
How do I find out which electoral division I live in?
You can find out which division you live in by clicking on the link below and entering your postcode on the local area profile search.
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 Wolverhampton 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.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/3259/Councillor-allowances
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 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 a Committee Chair.
You will be expected to attend council meetings and meetings of committees 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?
City of Wolverhampton 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 council and your role within it. Councillor Support will be your point of contact to signpost you round the council for the first couple of months. The Councillor Support Office provides a range of services for Councillors including administrative and secretarial support, answering telephone calls, forwarding messages, a personal reception to visitors, handling Councillors’ e-mails and mail (as requested), arranging and inputting meetings on Councillors’ individual Outlook calendars, booking/attendance at conferences/seminars and organising travel arrangements. The office also arranges for Councillors’ stationery, surgery posters and various other leaflets.
Tablet devices and mobile phones will be issued for newly elected councillors.
What support is available for councillors with special needs?
Councillors are encouraged to contact Councillor Support following their election to discuss their personal needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made.
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:
You can also watch our meetings live via the Council’s webcasting facility:
City of Wolverhampton Council
St Peter’s Square
Tel: 01902 551177
The Electoral Commission (main office)
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
Tel: 0333 1031928