How to become a councillor

Becoming a Councillor can be a challenging but rewarding process

Becoming a councillor can be a challenging but rewarding process. Below are a few of the questions which those thinking about becoming councillors might want to ask. If you would like to find out more, please contact a member of the Democratic Services team using the details provided on this page.

What are the qualifications needed to stand for election to the City of Lincoln Council?

If you would like to stand as a candidate for election you must be at least 18 years old on the day of nomination.

Citizens of the UK and the Republic of Ireland may stand for election, as may citizens of the European Union or the Commonwealth. You must also meet at least one of the following four qualifications:

  • you are a registered elector for the local authority area

  • you have lived in the area for the whole of the previous 12 months

  • you have occupied, as owner or tenant, any land or premises in the area for the whole of the previous 12 months

  • your principal or only place of work for the whole of the previous 12 months has been in the area

Any person wishing to stand as a candidate must also complete the following paperwork:

  • a nomination paper

  • a consent to nomination form

  • the appointment of any election agent

There is a range of disqualifications that can prevent a person from standing as candidate at a local election. Further details of such disqualifications are shown on the nomination forms. Candidates for election to a council do not need to make a deposit in order to be eligible.

If you wish to receive a set of nomination papers, please contact Electoral Services using the contact details on the right of this page. 

Do I need to be a member of a political party?

No - there’s no need for a candidate to be a member of a political party. Often candidates will represent a local or national political party, but this is a personal choice. Even if you stand for election as an independent candidate (i.e. not representing a political party), it is still possible to form a political group with two or more other councillors in order to give you the right to representation on committees of the Council (depending upon the size of your group).

If I want to represent a political party how can I do this?

To be selected as a candidate you would need to contact the political party directly. If you are a candidate for a registered political party, when you stand for election you will also need to submit:

  • a certificate of authorisation

  • a request to use the party emblem

How much time does it take to be a councillor?

The amount of time councillors put into the role will vary from person to person, although every councillor has a duty to attend a meeting at least once every six months. However, in practice most councillors will do significantly more work than this. This can involve taking part in committee meetings, helping residents with their problems, developing ideas to improve the city, and working with people in your neighbourhood to solve problems.

The City of Lincoln Council holds the majority of its committee meetings in the evening, which allows many councillors to juggle family, work and council responsibilities. The Council also operates a Childcare and Dependant Carers’ Allowance scheme to help councillors to provide care cover for children or dependants while a councillor is carrying out their duties.

What responsibilities will I have if I become a councillor?

Becoming a councillor is a very significant responsibility. It does require time and patience, and you will be faced with a wide variety of challenging situations and decisions.

You can read more detailed information on the role of a councillor on the information page.

Are councillors paid?

Councillors are paid allowances relating to the duties they undertake. Every councillor is allotted a basic allowance, while members taking on additional responsibilities, such as chairing a committee or becoming a member of the Executive, are entitled to an additional allowance. 

What is the process for being elected as a councillor?

The Electoral Commission’s website provides useful guidance to candidates on the procedures and rules affecting the election of councillors. You can also contact the Elections Team for any further guidance using the contact details on this page.