Are you thinking of becoming a councillor?
Elections for borough councillors are scheduled to take place every 4 years. Sometimes an election can happen outside this timetable, when a casual vacancy arises.
You can find out if any elections for local councillors are taking place on our current elections page.
Whenever the election is, you’ll need to follow these steps if you’re thinking about becoming a local councillor.
Find out if you qualify
To stand as a councillor you must be:
- A British, European Union, or a Commonwealth citizen
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the Hinckley & Bosworth area, or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before the election you are going to stand in
You cannot be a councillor if:
- You work for the council, or for another local authority in a politically restricted post
- You are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
- You have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (included suspended sentences) during the five years before polling day
- You have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court
- You are subject to the notification requirement of or under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003
It is your responsibility to determine if you are qualified to stand as a candidate. You can find out more information about qualifications and disqualifications at the Electoral Commission website (electoralcommission.org.uk)
Decide how you want to stand
Before you start campaigning, you will need to decide how you want to stand and where (which ward) you want to represent on the council. This will have an effect on how you complete your nomination papers later.
There are 16 wards in the Hinckley & Bosworth area, each represented by up to three local councillors. You can only stand for election in one ward, so you need to think carefully about which area you best represent.
You can stand as an independent candidate or for a political party, but you will need to make sure that you have authorisation to use registered descriptions and party emblems if you stand for a party.
Fill in a nomination paper
You can download a nomination paper from the Electoral Commission (electoralcommission.org.uk) at any time, or you can request a hard copy from the Electoral Services Team.
Nomination papers are complex documents, so it is important that you pay close attention to any guidance that is supplied.
At scheduled elections, there usually will be a briefing session for prospective candidates which goes through the whole document and covers frequently asked questions. Information about this will be published on the current elections page. The full nomination comprises:
- A validly subscribed nomination paper (see below)
- A home address form
- A written consent to nomination
- If required, authorisation from a political party to use a registered description and emblem
All candidates must demonstrate that they have support for standing.
To stand as a borough councillor, two registered electors from the ward you want to stand in must sign your nomination paper. There are called your ‘subscribers’.
Your subscribers will need to provide their unique elector numbers so that we can check that they are allowed to subscribe to your nomination.
Submit your nomination
By law, nominations must be submitted after the Notice of Election has been published, but before 4pm, 19 working days before polling day.
Specific instructions on how to submit your nomination will be published on the Notice of Election, but you will always be required to submit your nomination by hand.
Once your nomination has been checked and processed, you’ll receive a notice through the post to confirm it is valid.
After the deadline, your name and address (unless you choose to withhold it) will be published in a statement of persons nominated.
Run a campaign (if you want to)
Running a campaign as a candidate isn’t necessary, but many candidates use this as an opportunity to state their aims and what they would bring to the council.
You can appoint an election agent to help you with your campaign. You’ll also be entitled to attend and observe certain electoral events, such as postal vote opening sessions and the count.
There is lots of guidance on how to run a campaign online, most of which can be found on the Electoral Commission website (electoralcommision.org.uk). This guidance is to ensure that there is a fair contest between candidates and to help you avoid committing an elections' offence.
There is also a limit to how much you can spend on a campaign, and you should carefully record any expenses you incur. Even if you aren’t elected, you will need to submit a copy of all your expenses after the election to make sure that all candidates are following these rules.
After polling day, if you have been successfully elected, you’ll be supported with an induction programme. This programme offers full training to help you take up your new duties.
There is lots of information online about becoming a councillor. You can find further information from the sources below: