How to become a councillor

The Borough of Swindon extends beyond the town of Swindon and includes surrounding villages and the town of Highworth.

Swindon Borough Council consists of 20 wards represented by 57 borough councillors, each serving a four-year term of office. Approximately one third of the Council stands for election in rotation each year for three consecutive years; there is then a year without any elections.

Standing as a councillor

Swindon Borough Council

If you're interested in standing as a borough councillor at the next elections, please contact us.

Parish Council

If you are interested in standing as a parish councillor you will need to contact the election office or the clerk of your parish council.

The election office can be contacted via:

Email: elecreg@swindon.gov.uk
Telephone: 01793 464601

For contact details for the parish council clerks please go to the Mod.Gov website - Parish and Town Councils

Qualification

To become a borough councillor you must be:

  • A British subject or a citizen of the Irish Republic or the European Union and resident in the United Kingdom
  • Aged 18 or over on the day of nomination
  • Either on the electoral register for the Borough of Swindon or have lived or worked or have owned property in the borough for at least the last 12 months.

Barriers to becoming a councillor

You will not be able to stand for election if:

  • You hold a paid office of employment made or confirmed by the council you wish to stand for
  • You are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
  • You have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to not less than three months' imprisonment (including a suspended sentence) in the last five years

You can also be disqualified from holding office, by order of the court, if you have incurred illegal expenditure (when acting as a councillor) of over £2,000 and if you have been found guilty of corrupt or illegal practices under the Representation of the People Act (1983) or the Audit Commission Act (1998).

What it means to become a councillor

  • You will be representing residents of a particular area at a borough-wide level.
  • You will be asked by residents within your ward to help with problems relating to services or issues within the ward.
  • You will need to obtain a working knowledge of the Council’s services and any issues affecting those services.
  • You will be involved in either decision-making or in scrutinising any decisions. The Council is currently promoting a working partnership within the community in its Connecting People Connecting Places project. You will learn more about this when elected.
  • You may be appointed to represent the Council on one or more organisations and bodies either within or outside the borough

Help you will get

  • You will receive a basic annual allowance (currently £7,633). This amount is set out in the Members' Allowance Scheme, which is reviewed annually by an independent panel which makes recommendations on any changes to the scheme. You will receive help with an induction programme and training opportunities and mentoring subject to budget availability.
  • If you belong to a political group, then colleagues on the group will support you. The two largest groups on the Council (Conservative, and Labour) each have a political assistant who will undertake research, etc, and help you and your group in policy and political matters.
  • There is a Members' Room at the Civic Offices where you can meet up with colleagues or simply sit and read to undertake research or to rest between meetings. 

Applying to become a councillor

To stand as a prospective councillor at borough, parish or town council elections, you need to complete a nomination paper.

Borough Council

Nominations must be signed by 10 people who are on the electoral register for the ward you wish to contest.

Parish Council

Nominations must be signed by two people who are on the electoral register.

Town Council

Nominations must be signed by two people who are on the electoral register.

Further information

For more details about becoming a councillor, please contact us. (If you support a particular political group, you may wish to contact them for assistance too.)

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