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How to become a Councillor
You will find information on this page about how to become a councillor with Nottingham City Council, when elections take place, and what qualifications/requirements you will need to be nominated and elected for your area.
- How can I become a Councillor?
- What are the qualifications?
- Are there any disqualifications?
- How do I get nominated?
- Would I have to pay a deposit?
- Where can I get more information?
- Are there any other elections in Nottingham?
Elections for all 55 seats on the Council are held every 4 years. Sometimes an individual seat in a Ward becomes vacant in the intervening years and details are publicised as they occur.
Although the majority of candidates for these elections stand as representatives of political parties, anyone is entitled to stand as a candidate provided they meet the following principal qualifications.
To stand as a candidate you must be at least 18 years old on both polling day and the day of nomination and you must be either a British citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic, a qualifying citizen of the commonwealth or a citizen of another member state of the European Union.
You must also meet at least one of the following 4 qualifications:
- be a registered elector in the area of Nottingham City at nomination and on polling day (this is an ongoing qualification requirement that must be satisfied for the duration of the term in office, unless one of the below criteria are also used), or
- have lived in Nottingham City for the whole of the previous 12 months, or
- occupied, as owner or tenant, any land or premises in Nottingham City for the last 12 months, or
- have had your principal or only employment in Nottingham City for the last 12 months
Some people are disqualified from standing as a candidate. The disqualifications include a person:
- who works for Nottingham City Council
- who is currently subject to a bankruptcy restriction order or an interim order (this disqualification ends at the same time as the order ends)
- who has been sentenced to prison for 3 months or more, including a suspended sentence, in the 5 years prior to election day
Certain exceptions may apply so you should contact Electoral Services before consenting to your nomination as a candidate.
Each candidate must be nominated by a separate nomination paper, signed by 10 electors registered in the Ward in which they are to stand.
If you were to stand 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 were 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.
No deposit is required to stand as a candidate in an election to a local authority such as Nottingham City.
More information about standing for election to the Council can be obtained from either the Elections Office at Loxley House or 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 The Electoral Commission Website.
Other elections are held in Nottingham to select people to serve as Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Both of these elections have specific legislation and regulations that govern them.
The Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 fixes the date for the next UK general election at 7 May 2015. Each UK general election after that will be held every five years on the first Thursday in May. An election could still be triggered before the end of a five-year term if a motion of no confidence is passed in the government and no alternative administration can be formed, or if at least two-thirds of MPs approved calls for an early election.
The European Parliament has a fixed term of 5 years and the next election will take place in June 2014. Nottingham City is included with some other Local Authorities to form the East Midlands Region. A Regional Returning Officer is normally appointed to co-ordinate the election in this region.
Additional information on how to stand as a candidate in these elections and related issues can be obtained via The Electoral Commission Website.
For further information please contact Electoral Services on 0115 8764111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.