How to become a Councillor
Councillors play a vital role in shaping and directing the effectiveness of local services for the benefit of local people. Councillors work with public services and with the private sector in order to achieve these aims. The position of the councillor is vital in the local community and is the voice of the community. They are elected to represent you.
In order to stand for election, you need to be:
- Aged at least 18.
- A British, Commonwealth or European Union Citizen.
- A local elector, or have lived, worked or owned property in the district for a year.
Councillors are not paid a salary or wages, but may be entitled to allowances and expenses for attending meetings or for taking on special responsibilities. They are not council employees. The elected councillors provide the policies, and then paid employees (council officers) put them into practice. Training is often provided for new councillors by the council.
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.
You cannot stand for election if you are disqualified, for example if you work for the council or you have recently been in prison. The full range of disqualifications at local elections is complicated and there are some exceptions. You should contact Electoral Services for further advice if you are unsure.
The local election timetable is 25 working days. At the start of this process, the Notice of election is displayed at Tewkesbury borough council offices and at relevant points within the particular ward/parish. As soon as it is displayed, you will have about a week to submit a nomination paper. Please contact Electoral Services for the correct nomination form. Upon close of nominations, a list of candidates is published at the same locations as above.
Further sources of information on becoming a candidate and the nominations process
- The Electoral Commission publishes information for people interested in standing as a candidate for election.
- The Be a Councillor web site provides information for people living in England thinking about becoming councillors in their area.
- The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) represents the interests of town and parish councils in England, but also provides case studies of current councillors from around the country explaining a little about why they represent their communities.
- The Ordnance Survey election maps web site provides further information on electoral constituency boundaries.
Co-option of Parish/Town Councillor
Following uncontested elections a Parish/Town Council can fill a vacancy by way of co-option. Applicants must satisfy eligibility criteria and generally would be required to complete an application form (see additional information below), prior to a council meeting to consider applications.
The following guidance and suggested forms have been prepared for the information of Parish/Town Councils and Clerks:
- Co-option application form (doc, 21 KB)
- Co-option eligibility form (doc, 26 KB)
- Guidance on co-option (doc, 23 KB)
- Parish notice of co-option (doc, 21 KB)
Please note that the above is for general guidance only and is not intended as a full statement of the law.
For further information on co-option procedures and required documentation please contact Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils (GAPTC) via their web site: gaptc.org.uk.
Parish Clerks should contact Electoral Services for the following forms:
- Registers of Members Interests Forms
- Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Tewkesbury Borough Council,
Public Services Centre,
Phone: 01684 272025
Fax: 01684 272040
If you require this information in an alternative format or language please contact Electoral Services on 01684 272025 and we will do our best to help.