Standing for the Council

 

So You Want To Be an Independent Central Bedfordshire Unitary Councillor?

Next Election: May 2019

Legal Requirements

To stand for election you must fulfil the following criteria on the day of nomination: 

  • 18 years or over
  • UK, EU or Commonwealth citizen
  • Registered to vote in the Central Bedfordshire Unitary Authority area or
  • Lived or worked in the area for 1 year
  • Owned or tenanted land or premises in the area for 1 year

You may not stand for election if:

  • You work for Central Bedfordshire Unitary Authority
  • You hold a politically restricted post in another authority
  • You are bankrupt
  • You have served a prison sentence (including suspended sentences) of 3 months or more within the last 5 years
  • You have been disqualified under legislation relating to illegal or corrupt practices.

The Process 

A Notice of Election will be published throughout the new unitary authority area giving details of how to apply to stand for election. Nomination papers for those interested in standing for election are available from both Ampthill Town Council and Central Beds Council. You need to be nominated by 10 electors from the Ampthill, Maulden or Clophill and completed nomination papers must be submitted to the Counting Officer at Central Beds Council at Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Beds by Noon on ?.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • How long would my term of office be?

Your period of office will be 4 years, with fresh elections taking place in 2015, with subsequent elections then taking place every 4 years thereafter. 

  • How much time will I have to commit?

This is very much up to the individual and is dependent on other commitments. As a new Councillor, you would attend Council meetings, have ward surgeries, undertake casework and become a member of at least one Committee. Once established, you might take on extra commitments such as being a member of a task force, becoming a committee vice-chairman, joining the Planning Committee or becoming a Member of the Executive. A recent survey of Members time commitment showed that the average time spent was 12 hours per week. This figure included Members of the Executive who are likely to spend a much more time than new Members.

  • When are meetings held?

Meetings start at various times of the day and evening and they normally last about 2-3 hours. Every Councillor is a member of at least one committee and is also expected to attend meetings of full Council. 

  • Will I get paid? 

All Councillors receive a basic annual allowance. All Councillors may claim for certain expenses including mileage allowance. 

  • Will I get support and training?

New Councillors will be partnered with a mentor who will help them in all aspects of their new role.An Induction meeting will be held where new Councillors can meet with other Councillors, both new and experienced, learn about the authority and be introduced to the Chief Officers. A Training and Development scheme is available so that Councillors can receive the education and guidance they need to fulfil the role.

  • You Do not need to represent a political party? 

Although most candidates do represent a political party, it is not a requirement and you can stand as an independent candidate. If you are thinking about standing as an Independent candidate a good source of information is the Politically Independent Candidate website at www.picx.co.uk.