Could you be a Councillor?
We are holding events for prospective candidates who are interested in becoming Councillors.
The events will be held on the following dates:
|South Hams||West Devon|
|Thursday 16 March at 6.30 p.m.||Monday 6 March at 6.30 p.m.|
|South Hams District Council Offices|
|West Devon Borough Council Offices|
Be a Councillor
If you are passionate about your local community, we need you. Councillors make a huge difference to the quality of life of local people and how local issues are dealt with. We need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect the communities they serve to put themselves forward for election.
Being a councillor is all about giving back to your community by bringing your energy, passion, and hard-working attitude. You can make a real difference to the local community and wider society in many ways as a councillor. For example, you could be representing the views of local people to ensure the community gets the right services, supporting a resident with an issue, or helping to shape the community by driving new ideas.
Being a councillor is a varied and highly fulfilling role. You don't need any experience or special qualifications, and you'll gain lots of new skills, experience, knowledge, and confidence. Councillors are paid an allowance and can work flexibly.
Who can be a Councillor?
To be a councillor you need to be:
- British, Commonwealth or other European Union Citizen and not require leave to enter or remain in the UK; or have indefinite leave to remain.
- At least 18 years old.
- Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked, or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election.
You can't be a councillor if you:
- Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, you can work for another local authority as long as you are not in a political restricted post.
- Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
- Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the five years before election day.
- Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court.
- Are subject to any relevant notification requirements, or a relevant order, in respect of a sexual offence.
Please read the full eligibility criteria from the Electoral Commission. If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, you can contact our elections teamfor more information.
The Local Government Association has produced detailed information for anyone who is thinking of standing as a Councillor.
What else do I need to know?
The estimated amount of time spent on Council business is 15 - 20 hours per week, although only a small proportion of this is spent at the Council Offices in meetings.
Councillors receive a basic allowance, travel, subsistence and carers' allowances. Those with special responsibilities, such as Committee Chairmen, receive additional allowances.
You may require time off work so you should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment.
Almost all meetings of the Council take place at the Council Offices and start times would be clearly marked on the meeting agenda.
You will be provided with a manual which includes the basics about the Council and your role as a Councillor. You will attend an induction programme on the Council's services, its priorities, aims, and challenges.
Each Councillor will be asked to identify his/her training needs against a core set of competencies following which personal development plans will be produced and training will be targeted to meet any skills gaps identified. Councillors may be asked to attend various conferences and seminars on specific topics.
The Democratic Services Team are always willing to provide help and advice, and you can contact them here. Each Councillor will also be given a 'buddy' to help with those first few months.
The Council works in partnership with many organisations which provide services to the community. Councillors are appointed to represent the Council on many of these bodies.