Who can be a councillor
To qualify to stand as a candidate, you must be 18 or over on the day of nomination >and be either:
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen
- a citizen of the Republic of Ireland
- a citizen of another Member State of the European Community.
In addition, you must qualify under at least one of the following criteria:
- Registered as a local government elector for the area of the council
- During the whole of the 12 months, preceding occupied as owner or tenant land or premises in the area
- Have worked in the area as the principal place of work during the past 12 months
- Resided in the area for the whole of the previous 12 months
There are various reasons which prevent a person from standing at an election and prospective candidates are advised to take their own independent legal advice on such matters.
Restrictions on being a councillor
A person will be disqualified from being a district councillor if they:
- hold a paid office or employment made or confirmed by the council
- are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
- have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment (including any suspended sentence) within the past 5 years
People can also be disqualified from being a councillor by order of the court if they have incurred illegal expenditure (when acting as a councillor) of over £2,000 and been found guilty of corrupt or illegal practices under the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983.
Standing as a candidate
A nomination pack is available approximately 8 weeks before an election. It includes a nomination paper which you will need to complete. In addition, a candidates pack is supplied.
- Standing for election as a candidate for a political party
Standing for election as an independent candidate
If you plan to stand for the council as an independent, Electoral Services will be pleased to give you more information. This is all explained in the candidates pack.
You will need to attend meetings, some of these are held during the working day and so, if you are working, you will need an understanding employer. According to the commitments you take on, this can vary from a few hours each week to several hours each day.
Many councillors represent the council on one or more outside bodies. For most of the meetings you attend there will be papers which you will need to read beforehand.
If you would like to know what committee and council meetings are like you are welcome to come and see. The calendar of meetings is published in May.
The people you represent will look to you for help in dealing with their problems, even if these do not involve the work of the council. You are likely to receive a lot of post and many telephone calls. Not every caller will telephone at what you might think is a reasonable hour!
Support for councillors
Each political group has its own office and group room which you will be able to share. The group facilities are in the Civic Centre 3. The town halls in Cleckheaton, Batley and Dewsbury also have rooms for councillors to use.
To help you carry out your duties, you will be able to use the support staff located in Civic Centre 3 who provide secretarial and administrative support to councillors. You can als call on information and advice from officers in the Scrutiny and Governance team. They service the meetings of the council and its committees by convening meetings, writing the minutes and by keeping the democratic system running.
Expenses are to cover your ward duties, such as:
- sending letters and telephone calls
- attending council meetings, committees and other authorised meetings
- attendance at seminars and conferences, outside bodies and parish council meetings.
Certain approved duties are eligible for travel and/or subsistence allowances, but only for travel outside the council area, when necessary.
Some members also receive a Special Responsibility Allowance for particular duties they undertake (for example, chairing particular meetings). This is something that the council considers and decides after a local election.
Contact Legal, Governance and Monitoring
- Kirklees Council
- Address Legal, Governance and Monitoring, PO Box 1720, Huddersfield, HD1 9EL
- Phone 01484 221904 or 01484 221000
- Email email@example.com