How to become a councillor
How much does it cost to stand for election?
You don’t need to pay a deposit to stand for election as a councillor. You just need to be nominated and be eligible to stand.
How do I get nominated?
A nomination pack is available approximately 8 weeks before an election from our Electoral Services Team (telephone 01253 887503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
You must also sign to show that you consent to your nomination and ten registered electors of the ward in which you want to stand must sign your nomination form. All the forms must be returned by 4.00pm 19 working days before polling day (the day of the election).
Am I eligible to stand for election?
You can stand for election as a councillor in Wyre if you
- are aged 18 or over on the day of nomination
- live in or work in Wyre
- are a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
- are on the electoral register in the council area
Is there anything that would bar me from standing?
Yes. You cannot stand for election as a Wyre Councillor if you are a “council officer” employed by Wyre Council.
And you cannot stand for election if, within the past five years, you have been
- declared bankrupt and have not repaid your debts
- convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to three months or more imprisonment (including any suspended sentence).
What if I want to stand for election for a political party?
If you are thinking of standing as a candidate for a particular political party, then you will need to get in touch with that party's local organisation. All registered political parties will have a national website where you should be able to get information about local organisations.
The only parties currently represented on Wyre Council are (in alphabetical order):
- Conservative Party
- Labour Party
To stand as a candidate for a registered political party you will need to send us a certificate signed by that party's nominating officer authorising you to stand for the party and allowing you to use the party's description and emblem.
Can I stand for election without being part of a political party?
Yes. You can stand for the council independently. Contact the Electoral Services Team (telephone 01253 887503) or email email@example.com) for more information. If you are standing as an independent, you can either be described on the ballot paper as "Independent" or you can have no description at all.
What do councillors do?
As a councillor, you would attend council meetings and might represent the council on an organisation outside the council, such as a local partnership, charity or other public body. Papers for “Full Council” meetings and for any other committees you are assigned to, will be posted to you and you will need to read them before the meeting. You will also be sent Internet links to documents for all the councils’ other committees, which you can read at your leisure. Some committee meetings are held during the working day so, if you are assigned to one of those committees and are working, you will need an understanding employer.
If you are thinking of becoming a councillor and would like to know what committee meetings are like, you can attend most council meetings as a member of the public. The dates of council meetings open to the public are published here www.wyre.gov.uk/decisions
The people on the ward you represent will ask for your help in dealing with their problems, even if sometimes they may not directly involve the work of the council. You will have to respond to letters, emails and telephone calls from residents and not every caller will call at what you might consider a reasonable time.
Will I get any help or training?
All newly elected councillors take part in our new councillor induction programme.
It begins with a short 'Welcome and Introduction to the Council' session, which covers how the council works, how decisions are made and who makes them as well as the different roles and responsibilities of councillors. All the things that you will need to know to get you started are covered in the detailed booklet that you will be given at the session.
Your induction will be facilitated by the team that provides administrative support to most meetings of the council. The Democratic Services and Scrutiny team support committees by convening meetings, writing the minutes and generally keeping the democratic system running. They are the council officers who you will probably see most and the team includes the council’s Member Development Officer who will provide you with ongoing guidance about the training and development opportunities available to you as a councillor.
Will I have a secretary and my own office?
No. Not unless you become Leader of the Council.
How much of my time will it all take up?
According to the commitments you take on, this can vary from a few hours each week to several hours each day.
Will my expenses be covered?
Each councillor receives a basic allowance and currently (in 2014/15) this is £4,059. It is intended to cover most of the costs incurred in carrying out your duties as a councillor. Certain "approved duties", including attendance at meetings, are also eligible for travel and/or subsistence allowances. You can find more information about expenses and Members' allowances
The Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, Cabinet members, Committee Chairmen, the Mayor and political group leaders are paid Special Responsibility Allowances to reflect the special responsibilities that these roles carry.
For further more detailed information about standing for election follow these links:
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