Am I Qualified
Yes – most people are. However there are a few rules. You have to be:
(1) a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union; and on the “relevant date” (i.e. the day on which you are nominated or if there is a poll the day of the election) 18 years of age or over; and additionally:
(2) on the “relevant day” a local government elector for the council area for which you want to stand; or
(3) have during the whole of the 12 months preceding that day occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the council area; or
(4) have during that same period had your principal or only place of work in the council area; or
(5) during that 12 month period resided in the council area. In the case of a sitting member of a parish or community council you can also satisfy the criteria to be elected if you have lived in the council area or within 3 miles of it for the whole of the 12 months preceding the “relevant day”.
You cannot stand for election if you
(6) are subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order.
(7) have, within five years before the day of the election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine.
(8) you work for the council you want to become a councillor for (but you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area).
But I’m too young…
Some parish councils also run youth councils, which are comprised of a number of young people representing their local schools and colleges. They are granted their own political forum by having a space and a time to meet and discuss matters that affect them. These youth councils are in direct communication with their parish councils so they can also be involved in decision-making. Contact your parish council or speak to your school to find out if either is involved in such a scheme and you are interested in getting involved.
If there is not a scheme, or a parish youth forum, get together with friends and put a proposal to your local community, parish or town council.
I am not a member of a political party and do not want to be
Most community, parish and town councillors are not party political – and many who are tied to want party as a councillor for another sector, do not stand as a political candidate for their parish council. If you wish to stand as a party political candidate, you are also welcome to do so. Contact your party’s local office for more information.
Conservative Party www.conservatives.com
Green Party www.greenparty.org.uk
Labour Party www.labour.org.uk
Liberal Democrats www.libdems.org.uk
Plaid Cymru www.plaidcymru.org
The Electoral Commission has a guide on candidates at local elections in England and Wales.