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Becoming a Councillor

To become a councillor for your area you will need to stand as a candidate at your local election. Keep an eye out on the Council’s website and notice boards for details of upcoming elections in your area.

If you want to stand for election but you do not belong to a political party, you can stand as an independent councillor. If you want the backing of a party you will need to either join one, or get them to pick you as their candidate before the election.


To qualify as a candidate for election to a local authority a person must be at least 18 years old on the day of nomination and must be either:

  • a British citizen
  • a citizen of the Republic of Ireland
  • a Commonwealth citizen
  • a citizen of another member state of the European Union.

A prospective candidate must also meet one of four qualifications:

  • be a registered elector for the local authority area or

For the whole of the previous 12 months have:

  • lived in that area or
  • occupied, as owner or tenant, any land or premises in that area or
  • for those 12 months have had their principal or only place of work in that area.

There is a range of disqualifications which can prevent a person from standing as candidate at a local election. Further details of such disqualifications are shown on the nomination forms.


Any person wishing to stand as a candidate will need to complete a nomination form. These are available from the Elections Office approximately 25 days before the date of the election. You can also use forms supplied by the Electoral Commission on their website. The deadline for submitting nomination papers to the elections office is 4pm on the 19th working day before the election.