Lancashire County 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.
What matters to you in your local area? Is it providing more things for young people to do, improving services for older people, making the roads safer or ensuring that local businesses can thrive? Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a county councillor.
Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing the population of over 1.4 million across Lancashire, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.
- About Lancashire County Council
County councillors are the elected representatives of Lancashire County Council. They are elected for four years unless they are elected at a by-election, in which case they must stand again at the next normal election for the seat.
Representing people in Lancashire, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action is the most important task that any councillor undertakes. Significantly, it is also often the role that local people value most.
Lancashire County Council covers a large geographical area, which is currently broken down into 84 electoral divisions. County councillors are elected to serve Lancashire and to specifically represent one of these electoral divisions on the council – making a total of 84 councillors.
- How do I become a councillor in Lancashire?
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 to stand in the elections. 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. Get in touch for support with independent politics.
If you’d like to find out more about being a councillor for a political party please visit:
North West Conservatives
14b Wynford Square,
West Ashton Street,
Salford, M50 2SN
Labour North West
Suite 97, Spencer House,
Dewhurst Road, Birchwood,
Warrington, WA3 7PG
North West Liberal Democrats
23 New Mount Street
Manchester, M4 4DE
- Does Lancashire 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 the people of Lancashire and in connection with council business. Each council sets its own rate for councillors’ allowances, and you can find out more information from Lancashire County Council’s website.
- What support will I receive from Lancashire?
Lancashire County Council is committed to providing councillors with advice and support for all aspects of their role. After an election, all new councillors are required to attend an induction programme to enable them to meet the key officers who will support them in their role and attend learning and development events to familiarise them with the work of the council, the expectations of councillors and ways in which they can carry out key tasks.
Councillors are also provided with ongoing learning and development support to broaden their knowledge, skills and confidence. A councillor working group meets regularly with officers to ensure that councillors are getting the training they need.
In the first few weeks experienced county councillors will be available to guide you in getting to know the workings of the county council and your role within it. You will also be offered a “buddy” – your own personal officer contact to signpost you round the council for the first few months.
You will also be offered a mobile device and access to the corporate network, which will allow you to access your email, intranet and other services whilst at home or on the go. There are also IT facilities for councillors to use when they are in county hall.
- What support is available from Lancashire for councillors with disabilities?
The County Hall complex is a DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) friendly building. The council chamber and committee rooms are fitted with an audio loop system. Specialist office and IT software may also be purchased for councillors with visual or hearing impairment. Councillors with special needs are encouraged to contact Democratic Services following their election to discuss their personal needs.
- How can I find out about training and development at Lancashire?
Email email@example.com for further information.
- Electoral division maps for Lancashire
- How do I find out which division I live in?
Find out which division you live in
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.
- 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 on the tab above.
- 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. You can also check this Lancashire site for information. 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.
- Key dates
Please find below some key dates for county councillors during their first few months of office. This includes training events and committee meetings. The minimum attendance of councillors is likely to be at the Full Council and any meetings of committees, working groups or outside bodies that you may be appointed to.
Council meetings are usually held during normal office hours (9am – 5pm), but can also occur in the evening. By law your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off to perform your duties as a councillor. However, it is advisable to discuss your intention to stand for election with your employer before submitting your nomination form.
- Useful contacts
Be a Councillor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lancashire County Council contacts
District Councils Electoral Officers
Burnley Borough Council
Chorley Borough Council
Fylde Borough Council
Hyndburn Borough Council
Lancaster City Council
Pendle Borough Council
Preston City Council
Ribble Valley Borough Council
Rossendale Borough Council
South Ribble Borough Council
West Lancashire Borough Council
Wyre Borough Council
- Common questions about being a councillor