Can you tell me the procedure for running for councilman?

See also:


Councillors play an important role in ensuring that the needs of their community are met by ensuring that the council strives to work closely with its communities to improve the quality of life for all residents. When making decisions, councillors consider a wide range of issues, including the environment, prosperity, equality, and social inclusion.

Councillors are likely to be involved in a wide range of responsibilities:

  • Meeting preparation and attendance
  • Speaking on behalf of the neighborhood
  • Public participation and campaigning
  • Policy development
  • Coordinating with council personnel
  • Managing Casework
  • Individual residents' meetings
  • Attending other meetings on behalf of the council
  • Participating in party group meetings
  • Examining the services provided by the council
  • Monitoring the council's performance
  • Creating speeches
  • Article writing
  • Meeting with you and representing you

If you've ever been concerned about the future of local services and wished you could be a voice for your community in pursuing the public good, you should consider running for office. Those who already work in local government find the role interesting and challenging, and there is the option to specialize in a specific topic or area of interest. However, don't expect to change the world overnight.

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To run for office, you must be the following on the day of nomination:

  • over the age of 18,
  • and a British, European, or Commonwealth citizen,
  • and
    • either be registered to vote on the current local council register
    • or have worked or lived in the council's jurisdiction for one year
    • For one year, you must have been the owner or tenant of any land or premises in the council's jurisdiction.

You can't stand it if:

  • you work for the city council,
  • or you work for another authority with a politically restricted position,
  • Alternatively, if you are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or an interim order,
  • or you have served a three-month or longer prison sentence (including suspended sentences) within the five years preceding the election,
  • or you have been barred under any law pertaining to corrupt or illegal practices

A councillor does not require any formal qualifications.

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Taking on the role of a councillor

The majority of councillors are elected after joining a political party. However, some people run for office as an independent (a candidate who is not affiliated with any political party) or as members of pressure groups such as the Ratepayers' Association.

The website of the Electoral Commission contains information for prospective candidates on all elections - you can find it at:

  • Website of the Electoral Commission

See also:

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Is a deposit required?

Local government elections do not require a deposit.

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How long have I been a councillor?

The office has a four-year term. You have until the end of this period to retire or run for re-election.

You have the option to retire at any time.

If you run to replace a councillor who retires during the year (rather than at a scheduled election), you will serve for the remainder of that person's term of office. Participating in a political party

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Participating in a Political Party

If you want to run as a candidate for a particular Political Party, you must be a member of that Party's local organization. The parties currently represented on the council, as well as their local contact information (in alphabetical order by party), are as follows:

District Council of Adur

See also: Learn more about Adur District Council's councillors.

Borough Council of Worthing

Also see: Learn more about Worthing Borough Council's councillors.

Additional information on political parties

For more information on the aforementioned political parties, as well as any others that interest you, go to:

  • Political Parties can be registered on the Electoral Commission's website.

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Standing for election as an independent councillor

The Local Government Association's Independent Group has created a 'Handy Hints' guide for Independent Councillors and candidates.

Please contact: if you would like a copy of the guide.

  • Local Government Association (LGA)LGA HouseSmith SquareLondonSW1P 3HZHead of Independent Group

    Tel: 020 7664 3000

Or see:

See also:

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There is an excellent book in the 'How to' category. 'How to' series, which is available from West Sussex's library service. Peter Arnold's 'be a local councillor'

It is a helpful book that walks you through the stages of decision and commitment, election, becoming a new councillor, and developing a public life.

It was first published in 1992 (and is now out of print), but you might be able to find a copy to buy on the internet, for example:

See also:

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Do I require the services of an agent?

Typically, candidates appoint an agent to act on their behalf. Election agents receive all correspondence and notices from the council, as well as the right to attend the opening of postal ballots and the counting of votes. Agents must submit an expense report to the local authority within the time frame specified.

Counting agents are present to supervise the counting process.

It is not necessary to appoint an agent; candidates may represent themselves.

See also:

  • Candidate or agent - on the website of the Electoral Commission

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Expenses for campaigning / How much can I spend on campaigning?

Prior to each election, the amount available to spend is calculated and included in the nomination pack.

Expense details must be submitted to the authority within 35 days of the election.

Candidates are not permitted to pay for leaflet distribution helpers.

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What should I do next? (Pack of nominations)

Once you have decided to run for councillor, you must be proposed and seconded by another person, as well as have eight other people assent to your nomination. A total of ten people to back you up (all registered local voters)

Contact the Electoral Services Department for more information on the electoral process, including the nomination procedure.

Nomination forms, timetables, and guidance notes are included in the nomination pack.

The schedule for the next local election is available upon request or on the website:

  • Website of the Electoral Commission

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Seminar for candidates

As a candidate in an upcoming election, you will be invited to a seminar for candidates and election agents.

Contact Electoral Services for more information about this seminar.

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What kind of support will I receive if I am elected?

As a new councillor, you will be invited to participate in an induction program that will introduce you to the council's operations. Councillors receive ongoing training on a variety of relevant topics throughout their term of office.

The council's professional officers are available to help you in any way they can, such as providing advice on council procedures or problems in your ward. Because all officers are required to be politically unbiased, they cannot assist in any matter that could be interpreted as supporting a political party or pressure group.

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Code of Ethics

If you are elected to the council, you will be required to sign the council's Code of Conduct, which is a public document that can be inspected by the public upon request. To view a copy of the Code of Conduct, go to:

  • Part 5 of each Council's constitution includes a code of conduct.

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Councillors' compensation

Councillors currently receive two types of allowances:

  • Basic Allowance (administered to all councillors)
  • Special Responsibility Allowance (paid to councillors who perform special duties such as chairing a committee)

Each local authority can decide how to pay these allowances, but they must form independent panels to recommend local allowance schemes.

Councillors can also claim travel and subsistence allowances. There is also a carer's allowance available.

Councillors are no longer eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme.

More information can be found at:

  • Councillors' allowances

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How much time will I devote to council responsibilities?

Some councillors may spend 12 to 15 hours per week on council work, but this varies greatly. Those in executive or chairing positions will have a heavier workload.

District Council of Adur

  • Most meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. at The Shoreham Centre on Pond Road in Shoreham-by-Sea.
  • Some are held in other locations throughout the Adur District.
  • Some take place at Worthing Town Hall.
  • The joint meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.

Borough Council of Worthing

  • Most meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Worthing Town Hall on Chapel Road.
  • Some events are held at Adur District Council locations.
  • The joint meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.

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Meeting details and dates

Please see: for information on upcoming meetings.

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Other resources for learning about becoming a councillor

Other resources for becoming a councillor can be found at the following external websites:

See also:

Political parties in Adur and Worthing have their own websites:
(arranged alphabetically)

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