Councillors are elected to the local council to represent their local community, so they must either live or work in the area. Becoming a councillor is both a rewarding and privileged form of public service. You will be in a position to make a difference to the quality of other people’s daily lives and prospects. Being an effective councillor requires both commitment and hard work. Councillors have to balance the needs and interests of residents, the political party they represent (if any) and the council. These will all make legitimate demands on a councillor’s time, on top of the demands and needs of their personal and professional lives. 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’ll have to spend some of your spare time on council business.
What do Councillors do?
- Represent their community
- Make a difference
- Represent the interests of residents
Could I be a parish or town councillor?
As a councillor you can become a voice for your community and affect real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the aspirations of the public that they serve. Parish and town councils are the most local part of our democratic system and are closest to the public.
How much time does it take up?
Quite often councillors say that their duties occupy them for about three hours a week. Obviously there are some councillors who spend more time than this – and some less, but in the main, being a parish or town councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work.
Am I qualified?
- Most people are. However there are a few rules. You have to be:
- a British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union, and
- 18 years or older on the day you become nominated for election
You cannot stand for election if you:
- are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order
- have, within five years before the day of the election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a prison sentence (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine
- work for the council you want to become a councillor for.
There are specific rules around candidacy. The full range of disqualifications for candidates is quite complex and some exceptions may apply. Full details can be found on the website of the National Association of Local Councils. http://www.nalc.gov.uk/
But I’m too young…
The age you can run as a candidate in an election has been lowered from 21 to 18 years of age. Eversley Parish Council currently has one vacancy for Councillors