Become A Councillor
The number and nature of councillor positions available depend on where you live – being a councillor in a unitary authority means you have more functions to undertake than in a rural area where there may be more than one layer of local government. In Scotland, Wales and London you can also consider standing for positions in the devolved institutions.
Find out when councillors get elected. In some places “all out” elections means all councillors are elected at one time, around once every four years. There may be a chance to stand in a by election in between these times but you should plan to be ready in the main cycle. In other places there are elections every year. Usually during the year running up to the election the local or regional party will undertake interviews to assess people to see if they have the competencies to get on to a panel of candidates. Branch parties will then choose from that panel and elect their candidate to stand in the election. Labour Party rules say that at least one in three local government candidates should be women.
Being a councillor is a job that’s as big as you make it. Expect to spend a minimum of three evenings a week and a substantial part of your weekend if you are working at the same time. Councillors do receive financial allowances, which vary by area and role within the council. Childcare may be available for official meetings, but this also depends on your local authority.
Becoming a Council Candidate
Local parties are always looking for new candidates to stand in council elections, but often complain that it is difficult either to find or to retain women candidates.
This day-long course is for women who are thinking of standing, or who have decided to stand but want to know more about the process. It provides a practical introduction to:
Deciding to stand – what’s involved in being a candidate and a councillor, what you can contribute to the community and the Party, and what they can give you
Applying for the Panel – completing the form, preparing for and attending the interview
Getting selected – getting on the shortlist, preparing for and attending the selection meeting
Being a candidate – working as a team with activists, campaigning in communities, building relationships
Getting elected – working with ward colleagues, the local branch, and the communities you represent.
The cost of Becoming a Council Candidate is £5 per person for both LWN members and non-members; we would encourage CLPs or Local Government Committees to cover this so as to enable as many women as possible to attend. Participants who are not members of LWN are also required to join (£15 a year, or £10 a year low or unwaged). Materials and all refreshments, including lunch, are provided.
All LWN trainers have themselves been trained to deliver our courses, and receive regular refresher training and assessment.
Interested? THEN CLICK HERE.