Who can be a councillor?
Any person over 18 who is a citizen of the UK, the EU or the Commonwealth can be a Councillor if they are an elector in, work in, live in or live within 3 miles of the Town Council boundary during the 12 months preceding the day of their nomination. There are no other qualifications to being a Councillor other than having a keen interest for our community and the town and being available for Council meetings which take place on Tuesday evenings.
What makes a good Councillor?
- Sound knowledge and understanding of local affairs and the community
- Solid interest in local matters
- Ability and willingness to represent the Council and their community
- Good interpersonal skills
- Ability and willingness to work closely with other members and to maintain good working relationships with all members and staff
- Ability and willingness to work with the Council's partners e.g. voluntary groups, Southend Borough Council
- Ability and willingness to undertake relevant training
- Ability and willingness to attend meetings of the Council and Committees in the evenings
- Ability and willingness to attend Council events at times
The Democratic Process
Elections to be a Councillor on Leigh-on-Sea Town Council take place every four years (unless a casual vacancy arises during this time). The next election is May 2023.
Leigh-on-Sea Town Council is the most local part of our democratic system and the closest to the public. You can play a part in aiding the Council run to the best of its capabilities:
- Look out for potential councillors – do you know someone passionate about our Town, wishing to be a voice for the community and effect real change? Maybe it is you!
- Nominate a candidate. Being a town councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to the community and helping to make it a better place to live, work and visit. On average, councillor’s duties will occupy them for about three hours a week. Obviously there are some councillors who spend more time than this – and some less. There are a few rules as to whether you can be a councillor. The basic ones are:
- You have to be a British citizen, Commonwealth citizen or European Union citizen and 18 years or older on the day you become nominated for election
- Live or work within 3 miles of the locality during the 12 months preceding the day of election (or if there is no election, the day of nomination)
- You cannot stand for election if you are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order, within five years before the day of an election or since, been convicted in the UK of any offence and been sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment (whether suspended or not) without the option of a fine
The National Association of Local Councils publishes The Good Councillor's Guide and a booklet for people who want to know more about the role of a councillor
"Being a councillor is a team game, and we all need to play our part. But remembering that we are there to represent our community- and so finding as many ways as possible to listen to their views, seizing every opportunity to meet them, being honest about what we can and what we can’t do – is probably the most important of all. "