We provide information on the process of electoral nominations and publish ‘Statement of Persons Nominated’ for forthcoming local elections.
How do I become a Councillor?
Elections are held in thirds every year in three out of four years. In the other year, County Council elections take place. The elections involve all wards in each of those three years referred. The Local Elections are held on the first Thursday in May.
You can be a candidate if you are over 18, on the electoral register, and have lived, worked or owned property in the area for at least the past 12 months.
You may be disqualified as a candidate if you work for the Council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. Bankruptcy or a previous criminal conviction with a three-month or more prison sentence would also disqualify you as a candidate.
Most candidates are nominated through a political party. However, individuals are welcome to stand in their own right. Before you can be accepted as a candidate you must get one person to agree to propose your nomination, another person to agree to second the proposal and eight other assentors. All of these people must be on the electoral register.
To qualify to be a candidate for a local election, on the day of nomination and on the day of the election you must be:
- aged 18 years or over
- either a UK or Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic, or a citizen of a member state of the EU
In addition, you must meet at least one of the following:
- On the day of nomination and on the day of the election you are and thereafter you continue to be registered as a voter in the borough
- For the whole of twelve months before the day of nomination and the day of the election you have occupied any land or other premises as owner or tenant in the borough
- For the whole of twelve months before the day of nomination and the day of the election your principal or only place of work has been in the borough
- For the whole of twelve months before the day of nomination and the day of the election you have resided in the borough
No experience of any sort is needed to stand for any Council.
To enable a person to stand as a candidate at any election that person (or their Election Agent) must submit a nomination paper. The nomination paper gives details of name, address and political description. A nomination paper has to be signed by the correct number of supporters.
To stand as a candidate in a County or Borough Council election 10 people need to sign the nomination paper. Everyone signing the nomination paper must be included on the Register of Electors for the area in which the election is to be held (County Electoral Division or Borough Ward). If someone signs your nomination paper and they are not included on the relevant Register of Electors, the paper will not be valid.
Name and address must be given in full. The law now limits the description candidates can use to no more than six words.
For a County or Borough Council election, unless a person is standing on behalf of a political party, they may only use the word "Independent" or leave this part of the nomination paper blank. Candidates cannot submit a nomination paper using a political party description unless they have that party’s written authority to do so, i.e. a Certificate from that Party confirming that the candidate is allowed to use their description.
Electoral Services Office
Stevenage Borough Council