Becoming a councillor
Thinking of becoming a councillor?
You don't need any previous experience. An understanding of how a council works would be helpful, although you will be offered training. People of all backgrounds are welcome – the greater the mix of people, the more effectively the council can reflect the views of its community.
You must be:
- at least 18 years old on the day of nomination
- a British subject or an Irish Republic or European Union citizen living in the United Kingdom
- on Chesterfield Borough Council’s electoral register or have lived, worked or owned property in the district for at least the last 12 months
You will also need to have your nomination signed by ten people who are on the electoral register in the ward you wish to contest.
You can't stand for election if you:
- already work for Chesterfield Borough Council
- are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
- have a criminal conviction involving a prison sentence of three months or more (including a suspended sentence) in the last five years
- are otherwise specifically disqualified from holding office by order of the court
The time commitment ranges from a few hours each week to several hours every day (eg, attending training, meetings and reading associated papers beforehand). You are likely to receive a lot of post and a great many telephone calls and emails. There is no salary for being a councillor, as it is regarded as a public service; however, each councillor receives a basic allowance. There are also allowances to cover the cost of travel and to provide carers support to enable attendance at meetings and other official duties. Special responsibility allowances are also paid to councillors who hold certain positions of authority, eg, council leader or a committee chair.
Standing for a political party
If you are thinking of standing for a political party you should get in touch with that party’s local organisation. More information about political parties can be found on the register of political parties section of the Electoral Commission website. You do not have to join a political group – you may stand as an independent (a candidate who does not belong to a particular political party) or for a local organisations (eg, residents associations).
For information about forthcoming elections visit future UK elections on the Electoral Commission website.
If you would like information about nominations, election expenses or any other aspect of the election, please contact your political party office, an existing councillor or the council’s election office:
The Elections Office
Chesterfield Borough Council
Tel: 01246 345 227 or 01246 345 806