How to become a County Councillor?
The next County Council elections will take place in May 2017.
Have your ever thought about improving the community you live in and influencing decisions in your area. If so, do you wish to become a County Councillor.
A County Councillor is someone who is elected by the people to one of the electoral divisions in Leicestershire to represent them on the Council. As a member of the County Council, he or she has to consider not just the interests on their local electorate but what is in the best interests of the County of Leicestershire as a whole.
The County Council provides a wide range of services, such as Education, Social Services, Libraries, Highways, Street Lighting, Trading Standards and Waste Disposal. County Councillors are involved in the decisions on these services and are delivered via meetings at County Hall, Glenfield.
All County Councillors are accessible to resolve issues and problems brought to them by their constituents. Councillors represent all people in their area including those who did not vote for them. In addition County Councillors are appointed by the County Council as the County Council’s representative on other bodies/groups.
To help you have a better understanding of what is expected of a County Councillor the County Council has produced a job description that sets out the role.
Download the County Councillor's Job Description (Word Format)
To become a County Councillor you have to be elected to one of 52 seats (electoral divisions) on the Council. Each electoral division is based on an average of 9170 electorate.
If you wish to stand for Election you must be:
- A British citizen, a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or of another European Union State.
- 18 years of age or older
You must also meet at least one of the following four qualifications on the day they are nominated and on polling day
- You are registered as a local government elector for the local authority area in which you wish to stand
- 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 you are nominated
- Your main or only place of work during the last 12 months has been in the local authority area
- You have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the last 12 months
- In the last 5 years you have been in prison or on a suspended sentence for 3 months or more
- you have been declared bankrupt
- you are an employee of Leicestershire County Council
- you have been disqualified.
To stand as a candidate you have to be nominated by the following:
- two electors on the electoral division (as your proposer and seconder); and
- eight other electors (supporting your nomination)
You do not have to be a member of a political party to stand as a candidate.
You will not receive a salary but you will be entitled to receive an allowance. All County Councillors receive a Basic Allowance plus travelling expenses. In addition, those County Councillors who hold an office, such as Leader or Chairman of a Scrutiny Committee, receive an additional allowance known as a Special Responsibility Allowance. See also Members Allowances Scheme.
It depends on how much time, effort and commitment you are willing to devote to the role. The minimum could be less than one day a week, although some councillors spend considerably more, especially if they take a leading role. The time spent is ultimately down to the individual.
Employers are required under the Employment Rights Act 1996 to allow employees a reasonable amount of time off to undertake work as a County Councillor. The details obviously have to be worked out between employer and employee but many employers see the importance of this work for the good of the local community and do what they can to assist their employees to be Councillors. However, it is obviously good practice for prospective candidates to always discuss this with their employer before agreeing to stand as a Councillor.
If you are elected via a political party that political party will give you help and advice during your time as a County Councillor.
All County Councillors receive support from the County Council officers who are committed to assist you to fulfil your duties and there would be someone available to offer you advice and support on any issue.
In addition, all County Councillors will receive an induction and ongoing training during their time as a Councillor as well as ICT facilities to assist them to perform their duties.
Page Last Updated: 19 September 2011