Become a Councillor

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Could I be a councillor?

The easy answer is, “almost definitely”.   As long as you are:

  • British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
  • At least 18 years old
  • Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election

You can’t be a councillor if you:

  • Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, or for another local authority in a political restricted post
  • Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
  • Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the 5 years before election day
  • Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court

If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, you should contact the electoral services department at your local council for advice.

Why should I become a councillor?

There are many reasons why people decide to become a local councillor. They include:

  • wanting to make a difference and be involved in shaping the future of the local community
  • being concerned about your local area and wanting to ensure that the community gets the right services
  • wanting to represent the views of local people and ensure that community interests are taken into account
  • wanting to pursue your political beliefs
  • wanting to contribute your business or professional skills
  • concerns about one particular issue
  • as an extension of what you are already doing through a political party, trade union, charity, voluntary group or school governing body – becoming a councillor can be the next step.

Research tells us that people are most concerned about issues such as crime, schools, transport and the environment. Your local council can make a difference on all these issues and many more, and so can you as a local councillor.

There are lots of ways to get involved in your community, perhaps becoming a neighbourhood watch coordinator, a school governor a magistrate would be more up your street. For more information visit www.gov.uk/government/get-involved#take-part

To find out more, download A step-by-step guide
Take an e-Learning module to help you decide if being a councillor is for you