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How to become a councillor

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Who can stand for election

You must:

  • be a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union; and
  • be at least 18 years of age by the date of the election.

You also need to be able to say yes to one or more of the following questions:

  • are you registered to vote in the county?
  • have you owned or rented land or premises in the county for the whole of the last 12 months?
  • have you had your main job in the county during the last 12 months?
  • have you lived in the county for the whole of the last 12 months?

The next election date

The next election for the whole county council will be held on Thursday 4 May 2017.

Term of office

The term of office is four years. By-elections can be held within the four year term of the council if vacancies occur and the successful candidate will serve until the next county council elections.

Applying to be a County Councillor

Complete a nomination paper available from your local district or borough council office as soon as the Notice of Election is published - an election timetable will be published several months before the election.

Nomination papers must include:·

  • the candidate's full name and address;
  • the signature of a proposer and seconder (subscribers) and eight other electors supporting the nomination (assentors). All must be registered and eligible to vote at the election within the division for which the nomination is submitted.

Deposit

A deposit is not needed for local government elections.

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Agents

Candidates normally appoint an agent to act on their behalf. Election agents receive all correspondence and notices from the Council, are entitled to attend the issue/opening of postal votes, polling stations and the counting of votes. Agents must make an expenses return to the local authority within the specified period.

Counting agents attend the counting of votes to oversee the counting process.

It is not necessary to appoint an agent; candidates may act as their own agent.

Campaigning expenses

The amount available to spend is calculated prior to each election and will be published by the Electoral Commission nearer the time.

Details of expenses must be submitted to the Authority within 35 days after the election.

Time spent at meetings

The average councillor devotes many hours each month attending to council duties; much of this time is accounted for by attending, preparing for and travelling to and from official meetings of the Council, its committees, and boards, etc, and for attending meetings locally.

All Members of the Council receive a Basic Allowance (currently £12,442.80 per annum).

In addition, Special Responsibility Allowances are paid for councillors with significant additional responsibilities, such as chairmanships.

Travelling and Subsistence Allowances are paid for approved duties. Expenses for childcare and care of dependants can also be claimed.

Training

A programme of induction is being drawn up for newly elected councillors, together with an ongoing training and development programme.

Further information

A prospective councillors evening will be held from 5 - 7pm (with registration from 4.30 pm onwards) on 20 February 2017 at County Hall, KT1 2DN.  If you would like to register for this event or have any other questions about becoming a councillor, please email democraticservices@surreycc.gov.uk or call 0208 541 9122.

Further information about becoming a councillor is published by GOV.UK Become a councillor section. Specific information about becoming a councillor in Surrey is available in the booklet for prospective councillors below.

Files available to download

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