Councillors - Frequently Asked Questions
Who is my local councillor?
What is a councillor?
Councillors are people who are elected to represent local people in the council's decision making process. In Redcar & Cleveland Council, they represent particular local areas, called electoral divisions. Redcar & Cleveland Borough has 59 electoral divisions and so the council has 59 councillors (sometimes known as members).
People stand for election for many reasons:
- to speak on behalf of the local community and help local people
- to pursue their political beliefs
- to contribute business or professional skills
- to shape the future of the local community
Councillors play an important role in shaping and directing the effectiveness of local services for the benefit of local people. Councillors work with the Police, Health and other Public Bodies and with the private sector in order to achieve these aims.
To be a Local Councillor you must be at least 18 and a British, Commonwealth or European Citizen. You also need to be a local elector or have lived, worked or owned a property in the council area for at least a year.
How do I become a councillor?
You need to be nominated to stand as a candidate at the election by:
- Two electors of the council ward (as your proposer and seconder) and eight other electors (supporting your nomination). All those that support your nomination must be local authority electors from the area covered by the election.
- You do not have to stand as a member of a political party, you can stand as an independent candidate.
- A Candidates Pack is available before every election. You can receive one by contacting us.
- If you are thinking of standing as a candidate for a particular political party, then you should first get in touch with that party's local organisation.
- If you choose to run as an independent, you may not even need to convince anyone of your suitability for the job except the voters. In some areas single issue groups or local groups of independents may operate their own selection procedure. Of course, you will also lack the canvassers, agents and financial support that a party can provide.
Many parties also have a national website, through which you can get information about their organisations in your area.
Are there any other restrictions to becoming a Councillor?
A person will be disqualified from holding office as a Councillor if they:
- hold a paid office or employment made or confirmed by the Council.
- You are subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order (note: being bankrupt is not a disqualification).
- Have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment (including any suspended sentence) within the past five years.
- Persons can also be disqualified from holding office by order of the court, if they have incurred illegal expenditure (when acting as a Councillor) of over £2,000 and been found guilty of corrupt or illegal practices under the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983.
If you would like more information on the election process, contact the Electoral Services Office at:
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
Redcar & Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart
Tel: (01642) 444410