You become a candidate at an election for a parish, district or county borough councillor on the day that you submit a valid nomination paper / your nomination is declared valid.
However, if you make it known in advance of the election that you are going to be a candidate, you will become a candidate on the last day for publication of the notice of election.
Most candidates are nominated through a political party. However, individuals are welcome to stand in their own right.
The candidate must:
No experience of any sort is needed to stand for any council.
To stand as a candidate at any election a nomination paper must be submitted. 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 parish council election two people will need to sign the nomination paper. These two people are known as a proposer and seconder.
To stand as a candidate in a county council or district 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 District 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.
For a county or district council election, unless a person is standing on behalf of a political party, they may only use the word "Independent" or leave this part blank.
Candidates cannot submit a nomination paper using a political party description unless they have their permission to do so and a certificate from them saying that they are allowed to use their description.
Agents do not have to be appointed. However, during an election some candidates appoint persons to assist them in their campaign. These are known as agents as the campaign is organised and legal. They arrange the appointment of other agents (polling and count).
More information on the appointment of polling and counting agents will be given once the decision is made to stand for election
The legal forms, or nomination forms, needed to stand as a Candidate are available from the Elections Office around two weeks before the election period starts. Request a nomination form.
There is no charge to stand as a candidate for election. There may be costs in standing for election that will have to be paid. The amount depends on the type of campaign but there is a limit on how much can be spent.
There is a basic fee, which at the moment is £600, plus five pence for every elector on the relevant register of electors. A form must be filled in to say how much you have spent and keep all your receipts for expenditure over £20 to go with the form.
The applicant may be disqualified as a candidate if he/she works 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 a candidate.
Page ref: LGSL 365