Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it, so we need councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged.


Are you passionate about what happens in your local area? Would you like to be the person to really make a difference and help shape the future of your community for the better? Perhaps you are already involved in local affairs and want to take the next step? Being a councillor can be a worthwhile and rewarding way to achieve these goals.

Becoming a councillor means that you can be a driving force for your local community, standing for what you believe in and making a commitment to local people – helping to represent the views of those that live and work in your neighbourhood and ensuring that you can help shape a positive future for them.

Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing the people of the Borough, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.

No other role gives 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 locally across Nuneaton and Bedworth.

About Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council exists to serve everyone who lives or works in the local area, helping people to be healthy, happy and enjoy a good quality of life. They also help more vulnerable members of our communities who need some extra support.

Some council services are very visible to everyone in the borough, but there are many others you may only be aware of if you come into direct contact with them.

The council:

  • Delivers significant, on-going town centre improvements as part of the ambitious
  • Transforming Nuneaton partnership programme and a vibrant and engaging programme of town centre entertainment.
  • Provides four sports and leisure centres, 22 football pitches and five cricket grounds, one bowling green, ten tennis courts and 25 outdoor multi-use games areas (MUGAs).
  • Maintains 57 play areas, including five outdoor gyms, three BMX tracks and four skate park facilities. 550 hectares of parks and nature reserves are also managed and maintained.
  • Manages a range of programmes to improve economic development in the Borough and provides gateway support for access to specialist agencies, including the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.
  • Provides business engagement, management support and facilitation of networking between businesses, including an annual Business Expo.
  • Provides an extensive range of high quality exhibitions and educational programmes at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery attracting 65,000 visitors.
  • Delivers a fantastic programme of entertainment at the Civic Hall in Bedworth, attracting over 112,000 customers annually.
  • Provides over 5,700 council properties, including around 1,176 independent living homes and 34 units of temporary accommodation for homeless households.
  • Makes decisions on around 680 planning applications and some 1,200 building control applications each year.
  • Empties four million bins each year, cleans 1,400 streets each month and recycles 44 per cent of household waste.
  • Provides financial support of some £1.9m for council budgets from investments and commercial activity. Provides support and advice on Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support to over 10,000 customers each year.
  • Provision of guidance, support and inspection services for business premises in the Borough, relating to food safety, health and safety, environmental protection and licensing.
How do I become a councillor in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council ?

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 or party politics.

What does it involve?

Councillors are elected to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council to represent the local community. Becoming a councillor is both a rewarding and privileged form of public service. You will be in a position to make a difference to the quality of other people’s daily lives and prospects.

Being an effective councillor requires both commitment and hard work. You will have to balance the needs and interests of residents, the political party you represent (if you have been elected as a member of a party) and the council. These will all make legitimate demands on a councillor’s time, on top of the demands and needs of your personal and professional life.

What are the roles and responsibilities?

The councillor’s role and responsibilities include:

  • serving the community
  • representing local people
  • talking to the community about what the council is doing
  • developing strategies and plans
  • decision making or reviewing decisions

At Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council we operate the Leader and Cabinet executive model, with Cabinet appointments being confirmed at the Annual Council meeting, which usually takes place in May. Our existing Cabinet consists of five members, each responsible for a specific policy area, known as a portfolio.

Councillors also appoint a civic Mayor and a Deputy Mayor at the Annual Council meeting – this role is not to be confused with the role of elected mayors, such as the Mayor of London, who is responsible for the day-to-day running of services. Our own civic Mayor carries out ceremonial duties as ‘First Citizen’ of the Borough and also chairs meetings of the council.

Councillors are often required to attend formal committee meetings that are usually held in the evenings. Some councillors are also appointed to represent the council on outside organisations such as charities and public bodies. If you are a member of a political party you will also be expected to attend political group meetings, party training and other events.

Councillors are often invited to lots of other meetings and events in their communities, such as parish council meetings or meetings about community safety and policing.

Many councillors hold regular drop-in surgeries each month and / or attend community meetings. These are a chance for residents to meet you and discuss their problems or concerns. You may also need to spend time visiting constituents in their homes. On top of this you will be dealing with letters, emails and phone calls from constituents.

The council has 34 councillors in total, with each of our 17 wards being represented by two councillors. Borough elections take place ‘by halves’ – this means that half of our council seats are elected every two years.

Does Nuneaton and Bedworth 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 Lichfield and in connection with council business. Each council sets its own rate for councillors’ allowances.

What support will I receive from Nuneaton and Bedworth?

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough 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, including learning and development events to familiarise themselves 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.

You will be provided with a council email account. The basic allowance includes an additional element to enable you to cover the costs of a broadband and telephone connection.  There are also IT facilities for councillors to use when they are in the Town Hall.

What support is available from Nuneaton and Bedworth for councillors with disabilities?

The Town Hall is DDA compliant. A mobile audio loop system is available. Councillors are encouraged to contact Democratic Services following their election to discuss their personal needs.

How can I find out about training and development at Nuneaton and Bedworth?

Dave Leach – Communications and Events Officer
Email: dave.leach@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk
Telephone: 07969180926

Lindsey Millington – Corporate PA
Email: lindsey.millington@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk
Telephone: 02476 376439

How do I find out which electoral ward I live in?
 

Map showing the electoral wards in  Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council 

Eligibility

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.

  1. Find out when the next local government elections are in your area by checking with your local council).
  2. Make sure you are registered on the electoral role with your local council.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Almost anyone can be a councillor but to check that you are eligible 
  6. Hear from real councillors about what it’s like being a councillor and their tips and inspiration 
  7. Get in touch with a councillor to find out more with an informal chat (or ask us to help)
  8. Watch the Be a Councillor film 
  9. Use our Be a Councillor worksheets to see how you would handle some real situations as a councillor 
  10. Explore, research and keep up to date about your local area, different communities, services, issues and ideas.
  11. Attend council meetings and local events to find out more about local government and your community.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. You will need to get 10 people (in the ward where you wish to stand) to sign your nomination papers.
  15. 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

Council meetings are usually held in the evening but can occasionally occur during the day. 

Council’s calendar of meetings

Useful contacts

Be a Councillor Email: beacouncillor@local.gov.uk

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council
Dave Leach

Communications and Events Officer
Email: dave.leach@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk
Telephone: 07969180926

Lindsey Millington
Corporate PA
Email: lindsey.millington@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk
Telephone: 02476 376439

Electoral Commission
0333 1031928
pef@electoralcommission.org.uk
www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Common questions about being a councillor

Frequently asked questions about being a councillor