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How to become a Councillor

Full elections are held in all wards every four years in May. The next elections are in 2023.

You can be a candidate if you have attained the age of at least 18 years, if you are included in the electoral register, or have lived, worked or owned property in the area for at least the past 12 months prior to the last date for submitting a nomination.

For County Council elections, the term "area" means the whole of the administrative area of Rutland, so a candidate does not have to qualify in the Ward for which they want to stand but must satisfy the qualifications for somewhere in Rutland. You may be disqualified as a candidate if you work for The Council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. Bankruptcy or a previous criminal conviction with a three-month or more prison sentence would also disqualify you as a candidate.

Some candidates are nominated through a political party. However, individuals are welcome to stand in their own right. Before you can be accepted as a candidate you must get one person to agree to propose your nomination, another person to agree to second the proposal and a further eight people to assent to the nomination. All of these people must be on the electoral register for the Ward in which you wish to stand at the time that the Notice of Election was published. Proposers, seconders and assentors are allowed to put their names to as many nominations as there are vacancies in the Ward. Rutland Wards are a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 member Wards so a person could put their name on up to three nomination papers in some Wards.

Candidates need to be aware that a nomination paper is not valid until it had been submitted to the Returning Officer and a Notice of Validity has been issued. This means that if an elector put their name to two sets of nomination papers in a 1 Member Ward, the first nomination paper to be submitted and declared valid would count. Even if the elector put their name to a nomination for Candidate A before Candidate B, but Candidate B submitted a valid nomination before Candidate A, then Candidate A's nomination would be invalid because an elector had subscribed to more nomination papers than there were vacancies. Candidate A's nomination paper would be declared invalid and Candidate A would then need to find a further 10 electors for a new nomination paper. The other 9 on the original nomination paper cannot be used again as they have already subscribed to a nomination paper, even though it was deemed invalid. It is permissible to be nominated for more than one Ward at the same election, but it is not permissible to contest more than one Ward in an election.

Candidates wishing to withdraw their nomination(s) must do so by the close of nominations, there is no longer a period of 2 days in which to do this. Someone who was validly nominated for more than one ward, would then have to withdraw all other nomination but one in order to stand for election.

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