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 and from a range of beliefs, cultures and personal circumstances. In short, more councillors who are as diverse as the communities they represent. Councillors can be working part or full time, unemployed or in education.      

You can stand for election as an independent candidate or as a group/party political candidate. If you are a member or plan to join or stand as a member of a political party their agents will work for you. If you are standing as an independent member you will need to seek advice from different agencies.

The major political parties are:

The Brexit Party https://www.thebrexitparty.org

Plaid Cymru https://www.partyof.wales

UKIP https://www.ukip.org/

Wales Green Party https://wales.greenparty.org.uk

Welsh Conservatives www.welshconservatives.com

Welsh Labour https://www.welshlabour.wales

Welsh Liberal Democrats www.welshlibdems.wales

If you want more information about the role of an independent councillor, the Local Government Association have a group for independent councillors.

A full list of registered political parties is available from the Electoral Commission. They also provide all the information you need to know about standing for election such as:

  • campaigning
  • accepting donations
  • spending money
  • your rights as a candidate, including access to election proceedings
  • reporting after the election.

If you support a political party, they are now looking for people interested in representing them. Don’t worry if you are not already a member of a party, you can easily join. Some parties require you to have been a member for a set period before you are eligible to be a candidate. 

If you have been selected by a party as a candidate or if you are standing as an independent candidate, you must make sure that you are officially ‘nominated’. This means completing a nomination paper which must be signed by 10 registered electors of the electoral division (ward) where you wish to stand. These papers are available from your local council’s electoral services department. You must also give your consent in writing to your nomination.

If you are a candidate for a registered political party, you must also submit a certificate from the party’s nominating officer, authorising you and your use of the party’s description and emblem. If you are standing independently, you can only describe yourself as ‘independent’ or give no description at all.

If you are interested in standing for office for the 2022 elections you'll need to start preparing now!

If you have been selected by a party as a candidate or if you are standing as an independent candidate, you must make sure that you are officially ‘nominated’ and give your consent in writing to your nomination.

If you are a candidate for a registered political party, you must also submit a certificate from the party’s nominating officer, authorising you and your use of the party’s description and emblem. If you are standing independently, you can only describe yourself as ‘independent’ or give no description at all.

Candidates standing for political parties may have an election `agent’. This is a person who is legally responsible for running your campaign and liaising with the council. Independent candidates can be their own agent.

To become a candidate (whether an independent or for a party) you or your agent (if you have one) will need to complete a nomination form which is available from your local council. The nomination form must be signed by 10 registered electors from the ward that you are standing in as a candidate, the first two that sign will be the proposer and the seconder, the other eight registered electors will be witnesses.

This is the timescale for the local elections in May 2022 (when all the council seats in Wales will be contested).

  • A local Returning Officer will announce an election by publishing a Notice of Election at least 25 days before the next local elections on 5th May 2022.
  • You will need to complete a ‘nomination form’ which will need to be signed by 10 registered electors and submitted by 4pm on the 19th working day before the election. All of the deadlines and dates will be specified on the official Notice of Election.

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.

Here is some more detailed information from the Electoral Commission about how you can become a candidate.

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