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How to stand as a district councillor

On Thursday, 7 May 2015, all seats in each of East Northamptonshire's 22 electoral wards will be up for election for a four year term of office. This offers any eligible elector in the district the opportunity to stand as a representative of your community and take up a rewarding role in public service.

Almost anyone can become a councillor and we currently have councillors from various walks of life. To stand for election on the day of nominations, you must be:

  • 18 or over;
  • a UK, Irish, EU or Commonwealth citizen; and
  • be registered to vote in East Northamptonshire or live, work in or occupy as owner or tenant some land or property in the district.

To stand for election you need to complete nomination papers. On these papers you will need to be proposed and seconded by two electors and eight other electors will also need to sign the form. All electors signing a nomination paper need to be included in the electoral register for the ward for which you want to be a candidate.

Once you have the correct number of signatures, you must return the form to the Elections Team at East Northamptonshire Council by 4pm on Thursday, 9 April 2015.

Nomination tips  

  • Take a look at this powerpoint presentation for candidates and agents
  • Check out The Electoral Commission's website which includes important information and guidance for candidates considering standing for election
  • We can provide you with a copy of the electoral register so that when collecting your ten signatures, you can make sure the name on the form matches the name and number on the list
  • Make sure the people who nominate you, only nominate you and no other candidate
  • Make sure your forms are all returned by the deadline - 4pm on Thursday, 9 April 2015
  • Don't leave it until the last minute to submit your nomination in case there are mistakes which need rectifying

Election timetable

There are a number of key dates you need to note if you want to stand for election as a district councillor:


Date and time


Submit a nomination paper

Tuesday 24 March - Thursday 9 April between 10am and 4pm on each working day

East Northamptonshire Council, Thrapston

Deadline for submission of your nomination paper

4pm Thursday 9 April

East Northamptonshire Council, Thrapston

Last date to withdraw as a candidate for election

4pm Thursday 9 April

East Northamptonshire Council, Thrapston

Polling day

Thursday 7 May, 7am - 10pm

Polling stations across East Northamptonshire

Verification of votes

After 10pm Thursday 7 May

The Pemberton Centre, Rushden

Counting of votes

From 1.30pm Friday 8 May

The Pemberton Centre, Rushden

Submit elections expenses Friday 12 June East Northamptonshire Council, Thrapston

Appointing an election agent

An election agent runs the administrative side of your campaign (ensuring forms are sent in on time, keeping clear and accurate records of financial expenditure to be submitted after the election etc.) You can be your own election agent but it will take up a great deal of time, so it would help if somebody else could do it for you. If you are part of a political party, it may be that somebody acts as an agent for several candidates.

Do I have to belong to a political party or group?

No. It's not a requirement for you to join a political party or group. Some people stand for election as an independent councillor and some of our current independent councillors have formed a group of their own. If you do become an independent councillor you may choose to join one of these groups after the election.

There are 40 councillors serving on the council in several different groups.

If you're thinking of standing as a candidate for a particular political party you will need to be a member of that party's local organisation. Support and assistance will be available to you from other members of the group.

Can I be a councillor and have a job?

Yes. By law if you're working your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to perform your duties as a councillor. The amount of time given will depend on your responsibilities and the effect of your absence on your employer's business. You should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment to stand for election.

I have a disability, can I stand for election?

Yes. If you fulfil the general criteria for being a councillor, you can stand for election. See the guidance Access to elected office funds for more information. 

We will work with you to ensure you can participate fully in your role.


You will have to pay for all of your own publicity material, property, services or items that are used in your campaign. However, if you're a member of a political party or standing on behalf of an organisation you may find that they provide financial help for the campaign.

The most important thing to remember about your expenses is that you will need to submit a statement of election expenses supported by receipts shortly after the election so you must keep all of your receipts.

Elections expenses are monitored by the Electoral Commission but must be submitted to the Elections Team at East Northamptonshire Council by Friday, 12 June 2015.