January 2019

Show all parts of this page

When this content has been published

Published on 24 January 2019

Could you be a councillor?

Are you passionate about your local area? Are you ready to help make a difference to the quality of life in your community? Would you like to play a part in making decisions that affect Teignbridge?

If the answer is yes, then Teignbridge District Council is encouraging people to stand for election as district, parish or town councillor at the elections on Thursday 2 May 2019.

To help people find out more Teignbridge is organising an event for prospective candidates on Wednesday 6 February, 4pm to 7pm in the Main Hall at Old Forde House.

For anyone thinking about standing for office on either Teignbridge District Council, or for their local town or parish council, this is an ideal opportunity to find out more and ask any questions. There will be the opportunity to speak with Teignbridge’s Elections and Democratic Services teams about :

  • the election process
  • information on the role of a district councillor and a town or parish councillor
  • how the council operates
  • attendance at council meetings

The council is involved in many aspects of everyday life, from collecting bins to keeping parks and beaches clean. People are elected for a fixed term of four years and councillors are consulted on a range of issues, make decisions on important strategies and plans for things like housing and economic development and are an important voice for the people they represent.

It is important that local authorities have councillors who represent and reflect the communities they serve, but also offer a broad range of skills and life experience.

There are many reasons why people decide to become a local councillor and include:

  • wanting to make a difference and be involved in shaping the future of the local community
  • being concerned about your local area and wanting to ensure that the community gets the right services
  • wanting to represent the views of local people and ensure that the community gets the right services
  • wanting to represent the views of local people and ensure that community interests are taken into account
  • wanting to pursue your political beliefs
  • wanting to contribute your business or professional skills
  • concerns about one particular issue
  • as an extension of what you are already doing through a political party, trade union, charity, voluntary group or school governing body – becoming a councillor can be the next step

Standing for election is a relatively simple process. Firstly you will need to submit a nomination paper to the Returning Officer and also have a number of people from your local community supporting you. For the District Council you will need 10 supporters and for Town and Parish Councils just 2 supporters are required. Anyone who agrees to support your candidacy must be willing to sign your nomination and they must also be registered electors who are entitled to vote for you.

There are some qualifications you will have to meet, which include a minimum age of 18 and your nationality. You can find further information about this at: www.teignbridge.gov.uk/beacouncillor19

If you would like to put yourself forward you can receive an information pack by contacting electoralservices@teignbridge.gov.uk. Please include your full name and home address.

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Group Leader for the Conservatives and ward member for Haytor, said:

“The council is a group of local people who care passionately about getting things right for their community. You will need to be open-minded and be able to consider information, be good at listening to different opinions and ultimately make decisions on the services the council provide.”

Cllr Gordon Hook, Group Leader for the Liberal Democrats and ward member for Buckland and Milber, said:

“Many complain about the council, but few are prepared to try and join it. If you care about your community, if you care about the environment, if you care about people then I urge you to consider seriously the opportunity that the local elections on May 2nd provide to represent those people and your community. The life of a councillor can be rewarding, frustrating, satisfying but never boring. The council needs committed local residents with both ability and energy to serve in difficult times. If that is you please give the idea serious consideration.”

Cllr Mike Haines, Group Leader for the Independents and ward member for Kerswell-with-Coombe, said:

"Councillors are able to share in making decisions that affect the community and the people they represent. You are often able to help local people, which gives satisfaction in the role that you play. You do not need to be involved with political parties, as many councillors at Teignbridge and in parishes are Independent".