Electoral Nominations

How do I become a Councillor?

Full Borough Council elections are held in all wards every four years in May. Most candidates are nominated through a political party. However, individuals are welcome to stand in their own right. Before you can be accepted as a candidate you must get supporters to propose your nomination. All of these people must be on the electoral register.

To become a candidate you must be over 18 years of age at the date of nomination and:-

  • be on the electoral register, or
  • have lived, worked or owned property in the area for at least the past 12 months.

You may be disqualified as a candidate if you work for the Council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. Bankruptcy or a previous criminal conviction with a three-month or more prison sentence would also disqualify you as a candidate.

No experience of any sort is needed to stand for election as a Councillor.

Do I get time off work?

This depends on your employer. Some employers are good at encouraging their employees to be councillors and do allow time off within reason. You should always discuss this with your employer before standing as a councillor.

Will I get paid?

You will not get a salary but you will be entitled to receive certain allowances. The Council also provides other kinds of support such as training, supplies of stationery and business cards.

How much time will it take?

It depends on how much time, effort and commitment individuals are able to give to the role. The minimum is likely to be the equivalent of one day per week although some councillors spend considerably more, especially if they have taken on leading roles, such as a Cabinet Member, Panel chair etc.

How long will I be a Councillor for?

If elected, you will be a Member of the Council until you choose to retire or lose an election. This means you will serve a four-year term in between elections.

Nomination Process

To stand as a candidate at any election a nomination paper must be submitted. The nomination paper gives details of name, address and political description. A nomination paper has to be signed by the correct number of supporters. To stand as a candidate in a town or community council election two people will need to sign the nomination paper. These two people are known as supporters.

To stand as a candidate in a borough council election 10 people need to sign the nomination paper. Everyone signing the nomination paper must be included on the Register of Electors for the area in which the election is to be held (Borough/Parish or Community Ward). If someone signs your nomination paper and they are not included on the relevant Register of Electors, the paper will not be valid.

Your name and address must be given in full. The law now limits the description candidates can use. For a borough council election, unless a person is standing on behalf of a political party, they may only use the word "Independent" or leave this part blank. Candidates cannot submit a nomination paper using a political party description unless they have permission to do so and a certificate from the appropriate party saying that they are allowed to use the description.

During an election some candidates appoint persons to assist them in their campaign. These are known as election agents and are responsible for the financial management of your campaign. They arrange the appointment of other agents (polling and count). More information on the appointment of polling and counting agents will be given once the decison is made to stand for election.

Application Process

The nomination forms needed to stand as a Candidate are available from the Electoral Services Office around two weeks before the election period starts. The forms, together with further guidance, can be downloaded from the Electoral Commission's website. Forms for Borough Councillor Candidates and Parish Councillor Candidates

Charge

There is no charge to stand as a candidate in Borough or Parish elections. There may be other expenses in standing for election that will have to be paid. The amount depends on the type of election but there is a limit on how much can be spent. There is a basic fee plus an amount for every elector on the relevant register of electors. Forms must be filled in to say how much you have spent and you must keep all your receipts for expenditure over £20 to go with the forms. Expenses are not re-imbursed by the Borough or Parish Council.

Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by Parliament to provide support and guidance on the democratic process. It makes sure people understand and follow the rules on party and election finance, publishes details of where parties and candidates can get money from and how they should spend it and sets the standards for running elections and reports on how well this is done.

In particular, the Electoral Commission provides:

Contact Us

If you require further information contact the Royal Borough's Electoral Services Office:

By telephoning: 01628 796306 or 796400

By email: electoral.registration@rbwm.gov.uk

By post: Electoral Services, Town Hall, St. Ives Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1RF


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Modified: 2014-10-16
Published: Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:39:39
Author: Andrew Scott
Editor: Andrew.Scott
LGSL PID: 365
RDCMS ID: 8413
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