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How to become a Councillor

All information and guidance relating to the process of becoming a Shepway District Council Councillor

Do you:

  • care about the future of local services?
  • enjoy helping people resolve their concerns?
  • feel that you could be a voice for your community?
  • want to help improve the quality of local life?

If so, you should consider becoming a councillor. It's a voluntary role - you don't get paid, but you do get an allowance and the satisfaction of helping to make a difference in your community.

 You can find out about what's involved in the booklet 'Be a councillor', published by the Local Government Association.


Who can run as a Councillor

At Shepway, all our councillors are elected by the community once every four years. To stand for election, on the day of nomination you must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • a UK, EU or Commonwealth citizen
  • registered to vote in the area - or have worked or lived in the area for one year

You can't be a councillor if you:

  • work for Shepway District Council
  • hold a politically restricted post in another authority
  • are bankrupt
  • have served a prison sentence (including suspended sentence) of three months or more, in the five years before election day
  • have been disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices

If you're not sure whether you're eligible to stand as a councillor, contact the returning officer in our Democratic Services department - see below for contact details.

You don't need any formal qualifications, but you'll enjoy being a councillor if you're well-organised, and good at communicating and working with other people.


How to get started

Most people become councillors through being members of a political party. But you can also stand as an independent candidate.

To represent a political party you'll need to:

  • get involved with the party's local branch
  • be selected as their candidate

To stand as an independent:

For details of the council's nomination and election process please contact the Democratic services team.

Contact Democratic services