Becoming a Councillor Information

Becoming a Councillor Information

People Clipart

MAKE A CHANGE BECOME A COUNCILLOR

  • Are you passionate about your community?
  • Do you want to help make a long-lasting change?
  • Do you have innovative ideas for the council?
  • Do you have concerns about a specific local issue and want to do something about it?

If this is you, then we need you. We need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect their community to put themselves forward for election on
04 May 2023

Here, you will find everything you need to know. We explain what the parish councils and councillors do, how you can become a councillor, details of the role and what to expect.

WHAT DO PARISH COUNCILS DO?

Your parish council is the most local level of government. Our work falls into three main categories:

  • Delivery of services
  • Improve quality of life for residents
  • Give communities a democratic voice

Each year a sum of money is raised—the ‘precept’ – collected through the council tax.  This money is invested back into the local neighbourhood by the parish council to improve facilities within the parish.  These include responding to planning applications and creating neighbourhood plans; hosting local events and providing grants to local charities; the provision and maintenance of play equipment and the upkeep of local green spaces, public seating and litter bins in our parks; the provision and maintenance of hanging baskets, flower containers and Christmas lights.

 

WHY BECOME A PARISH COUNCILLOR?

As a parish councillor you can be a voice for your community and make real change. Parish councillors are the champions of their community who invest time in local projects and issues to the benefit of residents and the neighbourhood.

Parish councillor responsibilities fall into three main categories:

  • Decision-making
  • Monitoring
  • Getting involved locally

Parish councillors attend to local needs of residents, collaborate with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council to adhere to local needs, and progress vital projects to invest in the future of the community.

Parish councils and councillors make a massive difference to local people’s quality of life. They are passionate about their communities and seek to make a change to help improve residents’ lives. 

CAN I STAND FOR ELECTION?

To stand for election to become a parish councillor you must be:

  • A UK or Commonwealth citizen; or be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland; or be a citizen of another Member State of the European Union
  • At least 18 years old
  • An elector of the local council; or in the past 12 months occupied land or other premises in the area the local council serves (as owner or tenant); or work in the area local council serves (as your principal or only place of work); or live within three miles of the local council boundary.

 

HOW TO BECOME A PARISH COUNCILLOR?

The next parish council election will be on 04 May 2023

The parish council can only be as helpful, connected and energetic as the people elected to run it, so we need councillors capable, enthusiastic and engaged to reflect our community. You can find out more about becoming a councillor on The Electoral Commission and Local Government Association website. There are three ways that you can become a councillor; standing for election, filling a vacant seat after an election (co-opted) or filling a casual vacancy.

Standing for election

There are six simple steps to becoming a councillor:

  1. Check for elections in your area by emailing your elections officer 
  2. Submit your nomination to the returning officer — find out more about the process.
  3. Wait for your nomination to be accepted
  4. Your nomination is made public by the principal authority
  5. Start your elections campaign
  6. Polling day — find your polling statio

Vacancies after an election (co-option)

If, after an election, there are some unfilled seats, the parish council will take steps to fill any vacancies by making co-options within 35 days (not counting weekends and public holidays). However, if the council does not have enough elected members to be a quorum (meaning at least one-third of the council must be elected or three members, whichever is greater), the electoral returning officer must run a by-election to fill the remaining places.

 What does a candidate need to do?

  1. Check with their electoral returning officer if there is a vacancy near you
  2. Put yourself forward for co-option
  3. The council may ask you for a CV or invite you for an interview 
  4. The council will choose their co-opted councillor

Casual vacancy

A casual vacancy is a seat that becomes available between elections, which may occur for several different reasons, such as a councillor resigning, becoming disqualified (by committing an offence) or not attending any meetings in six months.

The council clerk will declare the vacancy by posting a note within the parish and notifying the electoral returning officer. 

This notice will also confirm that a by-election will be held if at least ten electors request it within 14 days (not including weekends and public holidays). If there is no demand for a by-election, the council will fill the vacancy by co-option.