Becoming a councillor
Councillors play a vital role in shaping services and making improvements for the benefit of local people, working with partner organisations in both the public and private sector to achieve these aims.
Broadly speaking councillors have three main areas of responsibility: ward representation; decision-making; and community leadership, and this can involve:
- attending meetings and making decisions about how the council is run, what services it should provide, and how it should spend its money
- listening to the views of local people so that you know what problems and issues exist in the ward;
- acting as an advocate for local individuals;
- ensuring that the needs of the ward are taken into account when the council is making decisions;
- working with council officers to bring about improvements;
- holding surgeries where local people can drop in with enquiries about the council;
- getting involved in local campaigns; and
- offering support to local schools, community groups, businesses and other organisations.
Being a councillor is an important position requiring a significant time commitment. If you work, by law you must be permitted a 'reasonable' amount of time off work to carry out your duties, but you should discuss this with your employer before making the decision to stand for election.
Councillors do not receive a salary, but are entitled to a basic allowance and payment for travel and subsistence expenses. Councillors appointed to specific roles are entitled to further allowances to cover their additional duties.
All Councillors are provided with a comprehensive induction programme to equip them to carry out their role. An example of the programme which took place following the May 2021 elections can be found here.
For more information on the role of a Councillor have a look at the Council's member role profile, which have been adopted as advisory notes.
Who can become a councillor?
To qualify as a candidate for elections to a local authority, a person must be at least 18 years old on the day of nomination and must be either:
- a British citizen
- a citizen of the Republic of Ireland
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or
- a citizen of another Member State of the European Union
A prospective candidate must also meet one of four qualifications:
- be a registered elector for the local authority area, or
- for the whole of the previous twelve months have lived in that area; or
- for the whole of the previous twelve months have occupied, as owner or tenant, any land or premises in that area; or
- for that twelve months have had their principal or only place of work in that area
You cannot stand for election if you:
- work for Gloucester City Council;
- hold a politically restricted post for another local authority;
- are bankrupt;
- have served a prison sentence (including suspended) of 3 months or more within 5 years prior to the election;
- have been disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices;
- are an alien (a person who is not a British subject) or a person of unsound mind: or
- have been surcharged in excess of £2000 by the auditor or court.
How to become a Councillor?
If you'd like to stand for election, you'll need to contact Electoral Services for a nomination paper when the next Notice of Election is published and return it no later that 19 working days before the poll takes place. More information on when the next election is taking place.