Becoming a County Borough Councillor

How can I become a County Borough Councillor?

Elections for all 44 seats on the Council are held every 4 years and the next Borough-wide elections for the 24 Wards will take place in May 2017. Sometimes an individual seat in a Ward becomes vacant in the intervening years and details are publicised as they occur.

The majority of candidates for these elections stand as representatives of political parties. However, anyone is entitled to stand as a candidate provided they meet the principal qualifications.

How do I get nominated to become a Councillor?

Each candidate must be nominated by a separate nomination paper, signed by two electors as proposer and seconder and by 8 other registered electors of the Ward in which you are to stand.

If you are standing as a candidate for a registered political party you would also be required to submit a certificate, from the party's nominating officer, authorising your candidacy and use of the party's description and emblem.

If you are standing independently, the ballot paper would either describe you as "Independent" or give no description at all for you.

You must also give, in writing, your consent to your nomination.

All these documents must be submitted to the Returning Officer by noon 19 working days before polling day.

No deposit is required to stand as a candidate in an election to a local authority.

What are the qualifications to become a Councillor?

The qualifications are:- 

  • You must be at least 18 years old on both polling day and the day of nomination and you must be a British citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic, the Commonwealth or another member state of the European Union.
  • You must also meet at least one of the following 4 qualifications:
    • (a) on those days and thereafter be a local government elector for the area of the authority; or 
    • (b) for the whole of the previous 12 months proceeding both nomination day and day of election occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the area of the authority; or 
    • (c) the principal or only place of work during the 12 months preceding both nomination day and day of election resided in that area, or
    • (d) is not disqualified.

Are there any disqualifications?

Yes and these could prevent you becoming a candidate. The disqualifications include a person:- 

  • A paid officer of the authority who is employed under the direction of a committee/sub-committee of the authority any member of which is appointed on the nomination of some other local authority, or a joint board or joint committee on which the authority is represented and any member of that other local authority; 
  • Teachers in a school maintained but not established by a local education authority; (this does not disqualify teachers and lecturers in 6th form colleges from membership of a local authority); 
  • A person is disqualified from becoming (whether by election or otherwise) re remaining a member of a local authority if they hold a ‘politically restricted post’;
  • Surcharge;
  • Corrupt practice;
  • Who has been adjudged bankrupt; and
  • Who has been sentenced to prison for 3 months or more in the previous 5 years;
  • Bankrupts. 

Certain exceptions may apply so you should check the position carefully before consenting to your nomination as candidate.

What could I expect to be paid if I was elected?

If you are thinking of seeking election to become a councillor, the Payments to Councillors leaflet provides some facts on what payments you would be entitled to receive.

Where can I get more information?

More information about standing for election to the Council can be obtained from the Returning Officer:

Democratic Services
Torfaen County Borough Council
Civic Centre
Pontypool
Torfaen
NP4 6YB 

If you are interested in standing in any elections to the Council, please let us know as soon as possible and we will send you details, the various forms and the detailed election timetable when they become available.

If you are thinking of seeking election to become a councillor, the Be a Councillor, Make a Difference - Candidates’ Guide provides information on what councils and councillors do.

Councillors have to abide by a Code of Conduct and will be provided with lots of training, advice and guidance on what this means after they have been elected. A short video from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (who investigates complaints and promotes high standards of conduct across Wales) is available.

Further details (covering issues such as the role of your election agent, the legal requirements which your campaign material must comply with, your campaign spending limits, declaring your election expenses and donations) are available on the Electoral Commission website.

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Electoral Registration

Tel: 01495 766077

Email: voting@torfaen.gov.uk

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