21st August 2017
Applying to become a Parish Councillor
Even those who have stood as councillors before may forget what the process was like at the last election. Whilst relatively easy, it is strict and if not followed exactly, will result in disappointment and rejection for the wrong reasons! The rules are there to ensure that only those who are eligible to stand for election in your community are considered and that those put forward have agreed to stand for election. Parish Councillors are elected by the public and serve four year terms in office; these were unpaid positions until 2004 when allowance schemes were introduced to encourage more people to stand for election. Allowances, which tend not to be very large, are at the discretion of the individual councils and most still choose to maintain an unpaid status.
To stand as a councillor you must satisfy these requirements:
You cannot stand for election if you:
The Election Procedure:
Ordinary elections of local councillors take place on the first Thursday in May every four years. Reorganisation of local government may cause alteration of the Election Day and election year in some cases.
A few terms that you will encounter explained:
1. Publication of the Notice of Election.
The Chief Executive of the District/Unitary Council is the Returning Officer and therefore has the duty to call an election.
Election staff in the District/Unitary Council Elections’ Office have all the papers you will need and will be able to give advice and may check nomination forms.
2. Getting the nomination forms
You will probably need to contact your District/Unitary Council Elections Office to ask for the appropriate forms. Parish and Town Councils are sent a certain number of forms and may make them available in the community, but the District/Unitary Council will send additional forms to anyone who requests a pack. Anyone who is eligible to stand can request these forms.
3. Completing the nomination forms
You will need to fill in all your personal details and those of the people nominating you. You and those nominating will be asked to fill in your Electoral Register number. This is the district code on the front of the Electoral Register e.g. A Village might be ‘SX’ then this is followed by the number that appears next to your name, or next to the name of the person nominating you. The entry in this box will therefore read something like ‘SX 413’.
You must get your form completed and signed by those nominating you and it will help to copy the numbers of those nominating you when you obtain your own Electoral Register number.
4. Sending the nomination forms back.
It is imperative that you submit your forms in accordance with the Timetable of Proceedings. Failure to do so will render your application null and void!