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Become a county councillor

County councillors are elected by the general public to represent a geographical area (electoral division) on the council, through an election or by-election.

Role of the county councillor

As a county councillor you: 

  • will be involved in making decisions at meetings about how the services the council provides are delivered
  • will need to be available to resolve issues and problems from the residents of the area you represent
  • may be appointed to represent the county on other bodies / groups.

More information is available in the

county councillor's job description    Opens new window

Eligibility

If you want to stand as a county councillor you must be:

  • a British citizen, a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or of another European Union state
  • 18 years or older.

You must also meet at least one of the following criteria on the day you are nominated and on polling day:

  • you are registered to vote for the local authority area (county) you wish to stand (represent)
  • you have occupied (owner or tenant) any land or other premises in the county 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 county
  • you have lived in the county during the whole of the last 12 months. 

You can’t stand as a councillor if you:

  • have been in prison in the last 5 years or on a suspended sentence for 3 months or more 
  • have been declared bankrupt 
  • are an employee of Leicestershire County Council 
  • have been disqualified from holding office.

You don’t have to be a member of a political party, you can stand as an independent candidate.

Benefits and support

You will receive some benefits and support as a county councillor.

Allowance

You will receive a basic allowance plus travelling expenses for being a county councillor.

If you also hold an office i.e. Leader or Chairman of a committee, you will receive a special responsibility allowance. 

Support

To assist you in your duties, you will get:

  • support from the political party you represent (if you represent one) 
  • support from county council officers
  • an induction and ongoing training
  • IT equipment.

Time off

The amount of time you spend on your duties as a county councillor is up to you. 

Your employer should give you reasonable time off, but you should discuss this with them before you agree to stand.

Standing as a county councillor

To stand as a candidate you need to complete a nomination paper obtained from your electoral registration office:

  • declaring your eligibility to stand
  • signed by yourself in the presence of a witness
  • signed by two electors on the electoral division you want to represent (your proposer and seconder) and eight other electors who support your nomination.

Further information about how to apply is available on the electoral commission website.

To find out where your electoral registration office is, visit the About my vote website.

Deadlines / timescales

The next county council elections take place in May 2021.

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