Becoming a councillor
Are you interested in becoming a Town Councillor?
What matters to you in Crowborough? Is it the parks and recreation grounds, the need for more activities for young people, the town’s nature reserves, the allotments, the cemeteries – or any of the many other areas the town council manages and maintains? Whatever it is, why not get involved by becoming a town councillor?
Perhaps you are already involved in local affairs and want to take the next step. Or you may be looking for a worthwhile and rewarding way to help your local community. There are approximately 20,000 local councillors in England, each representing their local community and all with their own reason for doing so. No other role gives you a chance to make such a huge difference to quality of life for people in your local area.
Find out more here in our COUNCILLOR INFORMATION PACK.
What is expected of a councillor?
A councillor’s role and responsibilities include things such as:
- Representing the ward for which they are elected
- Developing and reviewing council policy
- Community leadership and engagement
Do I need any special skills or experience to be a councillor?
No! It is important that councils have councillors who not only reflect and represent the communities they serve, but also have a broad range of skills and life experience. You don’t have to be highly educated or have a profession. Skills gained through raising a family, caring for others, volunteering, or being active in faith or community groups can be just as valuable. Whilst you don’t need any special qualifications to be a councillor, having or being able to develop the following skills, knowledge and attributes will help you in the role:
- Communication skills
- Problem solving and analytical skills
- Team working
- Organisational skills
- Ability to engage with your local community
Who can be a councillor?
Almost anyone can be a local councillor, as long as you are:
- British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election.
However, you cannot be a councillor if you:
- Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, or for another local authority in a politically restricted post
- Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
- Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the five years before election day
- Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court.
If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, you should contact the returning officer in the electoral services department at Wealden District Council for advice.
Do I have to be a member of a political party?
No. You can either stand as an independent candidate, or as a group or party political candidate. The political parties in your local area are already looking for people interested in representing them and will be pleased to hear from you. They will be able to support your election campaign and your work as a councillor. Don’t worry if you’re not already a party member as they will be able to go through all the options with you. Some parties have special training and encouragement schemes for new candidates. Some places have organised residents’ associations or community groups which put candidates up for election. Alternatively you can stand as an independent candidate. For further information on how to do this, please contact Electoral Services at Wealden District Council.
I may be interested in standing for election next May – what do I do now?
In the first instance you may want to call us here at the Town Hall; we can give you more detailed advice and/or arrange for you to speak with the Town Clerk:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 01892 652907
You can also read through our COUNCILLOR INFORMATION PACK
Alternatively you can contact the Electoral Services team at Wealden District Council to register your interest, and they will send you a nomination pack in March 2019:
email@example.com / 01892 602407
Finally, you can find more information about becoming a councillor on the following government websites: