Almost anyone can be a councillor and it’s very important that a range of different people are elected to represent different communities.

Local government needs more councillors who are under 40, female, disabled, LGBTQ+ and Black or Asian or from other minority groups and from a range of beliefs, cultures and personal circumstances. In short, more councillors who are as diverse as the communities they represent. The Welsh Local Government Association is working with Councils to introduce a range of ambitious actions and commitments intended to spur change and promote diversity in democracy. These include encouraging all political parties to commit to proactively improving diversity, supporting the use of voluntary quotas, and encouraging all councils to sign up to a 'Diversity Councils' declaration, to demonstrate a clear, public commitment.

Disabled candidates are entitled to funding to help with any additional costs associated with their impairment which could be a barrier to them standing as a councillor. More information about claiming from the Access to Elected Office Fund here. Councillors can be working part or full time, unemployed or in education.  

The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 has changed the rules to reduce barriers to individuals standing as a councillor:

  • It allows council employees (other than those holding politically restricted posts) to stand for election. They would not need to resign their paid employment with the council to do this.
  • It enables the executive (the Cabinet) to appoint members as assistants to the executive and facilitates job-sharing for executive leaders and executive members.
  • The entitlement of Councillors to family absence has been updated, bringing them in line with updated UK employment law.
  • It introduced legislation to make permanent the provision for remote council meetings, following its successful adoption during the pandemic.

           

Apart from the local elections which take place every 5 years, if a position becomes vacant, due to for example the death of a serving councillor, councils may hold by-elections. The process for a by-election is the same as for national elections, so an election will be announced for the vacant seat and you should submit your signed nomination form to the deadline specified on the Notice of Election.

For more information about how to become a councillor in your local Council, please visit the websites below:

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