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Be A County Councillor

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.

 

 

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Last updated: 8 December 2017

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