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1. Be A County Councillor

What matters to you in your local area? 

Is it providing more things for young people to do, improving services for older people, making the roads better or ensuring that local businesses can thrive? The Council needs Councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and who want to make a difference.

If you think being a County Councillor could be for you, hear from some of our current Councillors:

Decisions made by local County Councillors affect the lives of everyone in Buckinghamshire.  Representing over 500,000 people, understanding the issues and concerns they have and taking action to make improvements are the key tasks for County Councillors.

Being a County Councillor is an opportunity for you to stand as a representative for your local community.

Council 2016-17

2. What do County Councillors do?

  • Do you want to represent the people in your area?
  • Do you want to help get things done in your neighbourhood? 
  • Do you want to genuinely influence how public services are run?

If so, your skills and experiences could be just what we're looking for.

Could you be a County Councillor? 

This is what our Councillors do:

 

What Councillors do

3. Could I be a County Councillor?

The easy answer is "almost definitely".   As long as you are:

  • British or an eligible citizen of the Commonwealth or a citizen of any member state of the European Union
  • At least 18 years old
  • Able to meet at least one of the following four qualifications:

1. You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the local authority area in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.

2. You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.

3. Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the local authority area.

4. You have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.

You can't be a County Councillor if you:

  • Work for Buckinghamshire County Council, or for another local authority in a political 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 5 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 County Councillor, you should contact the electoral services team at your local District Council for advice or go online to Electoral Commission - candidates and agents guidance, where you can find more information about standing as a candidate.

4. Questions about being a Councillor

For advice on whether you are eligible to stand to be a County Councillor, please contact the relevant District Council.

Is there an age limit for standing as a County Councillor?

Yes, you must be at least 18 years old on the day of nomination but no-one is too old to be a Councillor. 

Can I become a County Councillor if I've already got a job?

Absolutely.

Lots of Councillors successfully continue their jobs while doing their Council work. By law your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to perform your Councillor duties.

The amount of time off will depend on your responsibilities and the effect that absences from work might have on your employer’s business.

If you're thinking of becoming a Councillor you should discuss these issues with your employer.

Please note that you cannot stand to be a Councillor for a Council that you work for, or if you are an officer in a politically-restricted post. 

Can I become a County Councillor if I am not a British National?

Yes, but if you aren’t a British citizen, you must be an eligible citizen of a Commonwealth country, or a citizen of any member state of the European Union.

Do I have to be a member of a Political Party to be a County Councillor?

Not at all. You can stand to be a County Councillor either as a representative of a political Party, or as an Independent.

If you decide you'd like to have the backing of a Political Party, you'll have to be selected as the Party’s candidate before you stand for election.  Contact the Party that you are interested in for advice on the selection process.  You or the Party you are standing for will also need to submit additional paperwork with your nomination confirming the Party’s authorisation to use their name and emblem.

If you want to stand as an independent County Councillor, more information can be found by visiting The Independent Group at the Local Government Association.

What is the time commitment?

There is no set time commitment - you give as many hours as you are able.

Some County Councillors are only able to devote a few hours a week while other can spare more. It just depends on the other commitments you have.

Most County Council meetings are held during the day and there is an expectation that all County Councillors attend full Council meetings (where all 49 Councillors attend) which are held 6 times a year, together with the Local Area Forum meetings which are held approximately 4 times a year.

More information:

If you think being a County Councillor could be a role for you, visit BeACouncillor.co.uk for brochures, a quiz and testimonials from current Councillors.

 

 

5. What help would I get as a County Councillor?

As a County Councillor you will supported in your role by

  • A programme of induction training & knowledge sessions for new Councillors
  • Regular briefings and ongoing training for all Councillors on key issues throughout the year
  • Professional, impartial advice and support from Council officers
  • ICT equipment and support to enable you to work effectively remotely and digitally
  • Mentors and buddies
  • Information about key people and services
  • A dedicated online ‘one stop shop’ for Councillors

As a Councillor, you are also entitled to a basic allowance, currently of £11,063 per annum. Further information on allowances.

 

6. What does the County Council do?

The County Council has responsibility for county-wide services including:

The Council has three key priorities, set out in its Strategic Plan.  You can read more about our key plans here.

In addition, the Council has an Operating Framework which explains how the different parts of the organisation work together.

Each February, the Council decides its budget.  The latest budget was decided by Council at its meeting on 16 February 2017.

7. Government in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire has three tiers of local government: County Council, four District Councils and 167 Parish/Town Councils.

District Councils have responsibility for services like waste collection, housing and planning applications.

Parish and Town Councils are independent, with little political orientation and the powers to do a wide range of functions in their local communities, such as public halls, litter bins and parks.

The Council runs 19 Local Area Forums which involve all three tiers of government and look at issues facing local areas.

Find out more about the Council's Structure

8. How do I stand to be a County Councillor

Nomination Forms

The next County Council elections are due to take place in 2021. Details of how to submit an application for to stand to be a County Councillor will be made available nearer the time.

In the meantime if you have any specific questions contact please contact democracy@buckscc.gov.uk

District Councils

Aylesbury Vale District Council

Website

Telephone: 01296 585807
Email: electoralregistration@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk

Chiltern District Council

Website

Telephone: 01494 732145
Email: elections@chiltern.gov.uk

South Bucks District Council

Website

Telephone: 01895 837225
Email: elections@southbucks.gov.uk

Wycombe District Council

Website

Telephone: 01494 421214
Webform: Elections Contact Form - Wycombe