Home Your Council Voting & Elections Standing as a Candidate

Legal Requirements to be a Councillor

To be able to stand as a candidate, on the day of nomination and on the day of election you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a British, qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or national of an EU member state

In addition, you must meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Registered local government elector for local authority area
  • Occupied as owner or tenant any land or premises in the local authority area during the whole 12 months preceding nomination
  • Principal or only place of work (including unpaid) during last 12 months in local authority area
  • Lived in the local authority area during the last 12 months

There are certain people who are disqualified from standing as a Councillor. A person cannot be a candidate if they:

  • Are employed by the local authority or hold a paid office under the authority (including joint boards or committees). Candidates may be ‘employed by the local authority’ if they work at certain schools, fire services, police or health services
  • Are subject of a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (or interim restrictions order) in England or Wales
  • Have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (inc. suspended sentence) without option of a fine, during the 5 years before polling day
  • Are serving a disqualification due to being found guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court
  • Hold a politically restricted post

This is not an exhaustive list, and further information on disqualifications can be found on the Electoral Commission's website by clicking here

Further Information

Further information on standing as either an independent or party candidate, spending and donations, campaigning and other topics can be found on the Electoral Commission's website by clicking here.