To support and deliver on our council plan priorities we need councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change. South Staffordshire Council can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it.
What matters to you in your local area? Is it ensuring local businesses can thrive, making the roads and communities safer or representing your local community at council meetings. Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a councillor.
Perhaps you are already involved in your local community and want to take the next step. Or you may be looking for a worthwhile and rewarding way to help your local area.
To support and deliver on our council plan priorities we need councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.
We need plenty of talented, high-quality candidates to stand in the election who are willing to work hard and make a difference to their local communities.
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 influence the way issues are dealt with locally and across South Staffordshire.
- About South Staffordshire Council
Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless way. Representing a population of approx. 110,500 across the district, understanding the issues and concerns they face, and then taking action, are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.
Some wards are represented by three councillors, and others are represented by just one or two councillors.
South Staffordshire Council is responsible for a wide range of powers delegated to it from central government.
Staffordshire has three types of local council – Staffordshire County Council, eight Districts and Parish Councils.
South Staffordshire is one of the eight Districts and provides services to our residents for £2.41 a week with the fourth lowest council tax in England.
- County Council – services including Adult social care, highways, children services, transport, trading standards, education, libraries, household recycling services
- District – services including community safety, building control, council tax and business rates collection, elections, environmental health, fly tipping, grounds maintenance, planning, food hygiene and safety, housing and homelessness prevention, leisure, licensing, waste and recycling collections
- Parish – smaller local services such as community centres, allotments, war memorials, bus shelters and play areas.
- How do I become a councillor in South Staffordshire?
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.
In order to stand at the elections you must first get a set of nomination papers from Electoral Services at South Staffordshire Council, which will explain the nomination process.
These packs are available nearer the election date (usually March). A candidates and agents briefing will also be held to provide further information to prospective candidates about standing for election. Information about South Staffordshire’s Electoral Services.
For more information contact the Electoral Services team:
Tel: 01902 696121
- Hear from South Staffordshire councillors
Cllr. Roger Lees, Conservative
Being a Councillor is a great way to help your local community. I enjoy meeting residents and helping resolve their problems. You get all sorts of problems thrown at you and people very much appreciate it when you can help them.
Councillor Len Bates BEM, Cabinet Member for Community Services at South Staffordshire Council
As a Councillor you need to be prepared to work unsocial hours and give up a great deal of your time as constituents can ring for help any time of the day and particularly at weekends. People are important and I became a Councillor because I wanted to help communities and individuals. I don’t see it as a chore and it’s something I really do enjoy, especially being involved in the planning and overview and scrutiny committees.
Cllr Anthony Bourke, Independent
When you aren’t on the council you have certain views about the way it operates but once you get on you have much better understanding of how the council works, and how things can be changed – helping the community has been really beneficial being their first port of call – I enjoy representing the council and the residents, and find it very rewarding.
- Does South Staffordshire 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 South Staffordshire and in connection with council business. Each council sets its own rate for councillors’ allowances.
- What support will I receive from South Staffordshire?
South Staffordshire Council is committed to providing councillors with advice and support for all aspects of their role.
After an election, all new councillors have the opportunity to attend an induction programme to enable them to meet the key people who will support them in their role and attend 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. In the first few weeks, experienced councillors will be available to guide you in getting to know the workings of the council and your role within it. Officers will provide support in a range of ways including orientation with the council, IT equipment and how the council works.
Mobile phones are issued to all councillors that sit on the Cabinet, the Chairmen and the Leaders of the Political Groups.
- What support is available from South Staffordshire for disabled councillors?
Councillors are encouraged to contact the Director Legal and Governance following their election to discuss their personal needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made.
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 electoral services 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
- 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 Electoral 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
Council meetings are usually held in the evening starting at 6.30pm but can occasionally occur during the day.
- Useful contacts
Be a Councillor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Staffordshire Council contacts
South Staffordshire Council
Tel: 01902 696121
Political Group office contacts
4 Station Road
- Common questions about being a councillor
We are proud that 92 per cent of our residents would recommend South Staffordshire as a good place to live. Our 27 parishes are made up of some small hamlets and large village with no major towns. With 80 per cent greenbelt land, our residents take pride in our beautiful countryside as well as our rich legacy of conservation areas, amongst many historic buildings and landscapes. The area also has a strong manufacturing history that has been recently heightened by our partners; i54 South Staffordshire and Jaguar Land Rover.