Could you become a Councillor?

Could you become a councillor?

To be able to stand for election to become a district councillor you should be:

  • at least 18 years old on the day of nomination and a British subject or citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of another Member state of the European Community

You must also:

  • be a local government elector for Buckinghamshire Council or
  • during the whole twelve months before your nomination, have occupied as owner or tenant land or premises in the District, or
  • have had your main (or only) place of work in the District during that period, or
  • have lived in the District for the whole twelve months before your nomination

You must not:

  • Be employed by the Council for which you are standing or by any Local Authority in a politically restricted post.
  • Be the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
  • Within the 5 years up to Election Day have been convicted of an offence and received a sentence of imprisonment of 3 months or more.
  • Be disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices in elections.

How do I stand for election?

Full Council elections take place every four years. The last elections were held on 7 May 2015 and the next elections will be held on 2 May 2019.

You may want some advice about nominations, election expenses or any other aspects of the election. Information can be obtained from Democratic and Electoral Services.

If you are interested in standing for election as a district councillor each candidate must be nominated by a separate nomination paper, signed by 10 registered electors of the ward in which they wish to stand.

If you want to stand as a candidate for a registered political party you are also required to submit a certificate, from the party's nominating officer, authorising your candidacy and use of the party's description and emblem.

If you are standing independently, you can only describe yourself as "Independent" or give no description at all.

You must also give, in writing, your consent to your nomination.

Will I have to pay a deposit?

No deposit is required to stand in local elections.

How long would my term of office be?

Unless you are elected at a by-election, you should expect to serve for four years. Councillors elected at a by-election serve the remaining period of the four year term.

Do I have to represent a political party?

Although most candidates do represent a political party, it is not a requirement and you can stand as an independent candidate.

How much time will I have to commit?

This will depend on several factors such as, how involved you want to be, your political activities and if you choose to be involved in particular issues.

As a rough guide the minimum is likely to average about 1 day a week. But leading councillors such as Political Group Leaders and Committee Chairmen would spend considerably more time than this.

Will I get paid?

All councillors receive an annual basic allowance. The basic allowance paid to you is to recognise your time and commitment and also to cover your expenses. Councillors who take on positions of responsibility receive extra allowances. All councillors may claim for certain expenses.

As a councillor you must expect to give up some of your time for the benefit of the community. Although most employers will, within reason, allow some time off for council work this is something you need to check with your employer before making a commitment.

What support will be provided?

All councillors will take part in an induction programme, introducing you to the business of the Council. Training for councillors in specific skills and roles will continue throughout the term of office.

The officers of the Council are available to assist you in any way they can, such as giving advice about council procedures. Officers cannot, however assist in any activity that could be interpreted as supporting or assisting a political party or in any private or personal capacity.