Registers of Members’ Interests 

How to become a Councillor

Elections take place every four years. The conduct of these elections is governed by statutory procedure. Elections are advertised in advance according to a strict timetable. Candidates have to be proposed and seconded by electors of the parish.

Any British or EU citizen, or qualifying Commenwealth citizen, is eligible to be elected as a local councillor if, on the day of the election, he is at least 18 years of age and is either a) a local government elector in the council’s area; or b) he has during the last 12 months preceding that day occupied as owner or tenant any premises in the council’s area; or c) his principle or only place of work during that 12 months has been in the council’s area; or d) during the whole of those 12 months he has resided either in the council’s area or within 3 miles of it. There are a few cases in which people may be disqualified from being elected.

It is also possible to become a councillor between elections if an existing member resigns and a ‘casual vacancy’ is created. The process of filling the vacancy by co-option is governed by statutory legislation. The vacancy is advertised for a fixed period of time and, unless at least ten electors or more request a poll during this time, the vacancy may be filled by co-option at a parish council meeting. Anyone applying for the vacancy must fulfil the same criteria as described above. To read about the co-option process please refer to the ‘Adopted policy and procedures’ page.