How To Stand For Council
The rise in councillors’ pay after next May’s elections was proposed by the independent panel in order to encourage more people to stand even if they have bills to pay and families to keep.
It is still surrounded by some mystery, so I hope this information helps. If anyone wants more, contact me.
Standing for a political party: just make contact first of all. Members are delighted to hear from like-minded people and will give encouragement. Some wards may be already allocated but it is one of the worst kept secrets that parties are often looking for candidates to put themselves forward right up to the last minute.
The Labour Party likes people to have been members for 6 months before they are selected but that can be waived. We ask that you fill in a form to tell us more about you and have a brief interview. The main reason is to make sure we all know what to expect as we work as a team. I don’t know how the other parties do that bit.
Once you have a ward to fight, or if you want to stand as an independent, you need to learn which streets you cover, get a map and start knocking on doors to talk to people. If you’re standing for Labour, we will help with that and show you how it is done plus provide training on all aspects of campaigning and access to our online tools.
It helps if you are involved already but if not, most local organisations welcome a head round the door to say hello and find out more. It also helps to have leaflets and calling cards. They can be expensive but political parties help with that (well, ours does). Each ward is around 3600 people or 1800 households.
Once the election is called you can pick up a form for the ward you are standing in. You get a copy of the electoral register for that ward and have to get a nomination form signed by 12 people in the ward who are on it – and who haven’t signed a form for anyone else. If it is wrong you can collect another form and start again (that is a personal sore from a while ago but admittedly it was only once, well twice with the same nomination).
Then it is three and a half weeks of work, knocking on doors pretty much constantly and talking to people about why they should vote for you followed by an agonising few hours at the count, which is done in public so everyone can see it is all above board and usually after the election finishes at 10pm.