If you care about what happens in the Borough and your local area, are interested in making a real difference, want to get involved in local life and want to have your say, then you should consider standing for election as a Borough Councillor.
What is a Councillor?
Councillors are people elected by the residents in each area (known as a Ward) to represent them in the Council's decision making process. They are usually members of political parties, although some choose not to be.
What is involved?
As a Councillor, you will be the voice of your constituents, with the opportunity to shape the future direction of Surrey Heath and be an ambassador for the Council. You will also have the opportunity to help and support your local residents on a variety of issues. You will influence the priorities and the objectives which the Council will pursue, the amount the Council spends and where, and what services are provided.
Councillors also have a key role to play in working with the police, health and other bodies in the public, voluntary and private sectors in order to achieve improvements for the area.
Councillors are appointed to a number of specialist committees, which consider reports about services and other issues. You may also represent the Council on local outside organisations.
How do I become a Councillor?
To qualify to stand as a Councillor in Surrey Heath, you must be, on the day you are nominated as a candidate:
What would stop me becoming a Councillor?
You can be disqualified from holding the office of Councillor if you:
What should I do if I want to stand for election?
In order to stand for elections, a candidate must submit a nomination paper signed by ten electors for the electoral ward together with consent to nomination, by the statutory deadline. Additional requirements apply if you wish to stand on behalf of a registered political party.
Nomination papers and candidates' packs including details of qualifications and the electoral process are available from the Electoral Services Section approximately two months before an election.
The next Borough Elections will take place in May 2015, to elect 40 Councillors (also called 'Members'). Councillors are elected for a period of 4 years.
What if you are already in employment?
Most employers are prepared, within reason, to grant some time off for Council work. You should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment.
However, the majority of Council meetings are held in the evening to minimise difficulties for those in full-time employment.
What support will be given?
The Council provides a comprehensive induction programme for newly elected Councillors and other development opportunities throughout the year. Councillors are entitled to receive a basic allowance to help meet their expenses. There are special responsibility allowances payable depending on the roles and responsibilities of each Member. You will also be provided with suitable information technology equipment and appropriate training and support.