Boston Borough Council can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it. The council needs councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.
We need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect the communities they serve to put themselves forward for election.
Being a councillor is highly rewarding. Few other roles give you a chance to make such a huge difference to the quality of life of people in your local area and to influence the way issues are dealt with.
It is a common misconception that you already have to be involved in politics to become a councillor. You don’t, councillors come from all walks of life, and they all have in common an interest in improving the lives of their fellow citizens.
If you think being a councillor could be for you, read on to find out more.
- Find out about Boston Borough Council
Boston Borough Council is made up of 30 councillors, covering 15 electoral wards. Councillors are elected for a period of four years, with elections typically held at the beginning of May.
Councillors are democratically accountable to electors of their ward and their overriding duty is to the whole community which the borough council serves. However, they have a special duty to their constituents including those who did not vote for them, they represent your interests, set priorities and allocate how money will be spent on your local services.
Find out more on the How the council works pages of the Boston Borough Council website.
- How do I become a councillor and what does it involve?
To become a councillor you have to stand at local elections and compete with other candidates to gain the most votes from the local electorate.
You do not have to belong to or represent a political party. You can stand as an independent candidate or choose not to have a description to your name. If you choose to stand for a party you will need to go through their selection process before you can be put forward as their candidate.
Visit our Becoming a councillor section to find out what a councillor does, what skills are useful, and the next steps to take.
- Next steps
To become a councillor you have to put yourself forward at local elections and compete with other candidates to gain the most votes.
Below are some of the most important steps to consider.
- Find out when the next local government elections are in your area by checking with your local council.
- Make sure you are registered on the electoral roll with your local council.
- If you are interested in independent politics (not a political party), you can get resources and advice from the Local Government Association’s Independent Office and the Independent Campaign Corner. As an independent, you will also need to start working out your views on local issues and services.
- To stand for a political party, you’ll need to be a member of the party, get involved locally and go through their selection process before you can be put forward as their candidate for election. You can find out more on each party’s website. This can take up to about a year or more, so please contact your political party as soon as you can. You can also contact the Local Government Association (LGA) political offices.
- Almost anyone can be a councillor, but to check that you are eligible, check the eligibility dropdown below.
- Hear from real councillors about what it’s like being a councillor and their tips and inspiration
- Get in touch with a councillor to find out more with an informal chat (or ask us to help)
- Watch the Be a Councillor film
- Use our Be a Councillor worksheets to see how you would handle some real situations as a councillor
- Explore, research and keep up to date about your local area, different communities, services, issues and ideas.
- Attend council meetings and local events to find out more about local government and your community.
- Read the guidance from the Electoral Commission about the processes and forms to fill out to put yourself forward for election. To become nominated as a candidate at a local government election in England, you need to submit a completed set of nomination papers to the place fixed by the Returning Officer by 4pm on the 19th working day before the poll.
- Contact the Democratic Services team at your council to get the necessary paperwork, find out the deadlines, and see what help they can give to submit your papers. Find your local council.
- You will need to get 10 people (in the ward where you wish to stand) to sign your nomination papers.
- Build your local profile, reputation and campaign. Find out more about campaigning from the Local Government Association’s Independent Office, your political party, or the Electoral Commission.
- Does Boston Borough Council pay councillors?
Councillors are not paid a salary but they are entitled to receive a ‘basic allowance’, which is intended to recognise the time devoted to their work on behalf of local people in connection with council business. Each council sets its own rate. Boston Borough Council publishes this on the member allowances scheme webpage.
- What support will I receive from Boston Borough Council?
All new councillors are able to access an extensive induction programme and additional training is offered to all councillors on a range of topics throughout the four year term of office based on personal development plans and matched to your needs.
If you are appointed to sit on the planning committee, licensing/regulatory and appeals committee, or audit and governance committee you will be required to undertake mandatory training prior to serving on those committees.
Help is also offered to councillors by a dedicated support team. The Democratic Services team is here to plan and service the meetings at which councillors make decisions as well as supporting the council’s decision-making process. They will be in touch regularly with information about events and training, meetings and additional information available to councillors, and will try to answer any questions you have about your ward – or they will find you the person who can answer your questions.
- Boston Borough Council wards - how do I find out which electoral ward I live in?
You can find a list of our wards and their councillor(s) from our Meet Your Councillors map on the Boston Borough Council website.
- Am I eligible?
You can be a councillor as long as you are:
- British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election.
If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, you should contact the electoral services department at your local council for advice.
You can’t be a councillor if you:
- Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, or for another local authority in a political restricted post
- Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
- Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the five years before election day
- Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court.
- Key dates
You can find a calendar of all our Council, Cabinet, and Committee meetings on the council website.
- Useful contacts
Boston Borough Council Elections Team - 01205 314220 / 314221 or Elreg@boston.gov.uk
Lorraine Bush - Democratic Services Manager - 01205 314224 or Lorraine.firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Government Association (LGA) Independent Group - 020 7664 3224 / independent.groupLGA@local.gov.uk /
Be a Councillor email - email@example.com
- Common questions about being a councillor