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Become a Councillor

Councillors are elected to represent their local community in the running of their local council. They help to decide how local services are provided, funded and prioritised, and work with the employees of the Council to make sure that services are relevant and delivered effectively.

They are entitled to different types of salaries, allowances and expenses dependant on the roles and responsibilities they have. Councillors are also entitled to travel allowances and can also claim their salary whilst taking family absence such as parental leave.

Please visit the Members' Scheme of Remuneration to find more information on the payments made to members and co-opted members of Local Authorities.

To be elected as a councillor you must be:

  • 18 years of age or over at the date of nomination
  • A Commonwealth citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of another Member State of the European Community

And one of the following:

  • You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the local authority area in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.
  • You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
  • Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the local authority area.
  • You have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.

You cannot stand as a candidate if any of the following applies to you:

  • You are employed by the local authority or hold a paid office under the authority (including joint boards or committees). Note if you are employed by a local authority or a hold a paid office you are able to stand as a candidate but will be required to resign from your post if successfully elected.
  • You hold a politically restricted post.
  • You are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
  • You have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended sentence), without the option of a fine, during the five years before polling day.
  • You have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which covers corrupt or illegal electoral practices and offences relating to donations) or under the Audit Commission Act 1998.

The main qualifications are an interest in your community and a willingness to learn. Knowledge, experience and confidence will soon follow. You will be offered a comprehensive induction to your role as a councillor and ongoing support and guidance about your personal development.