How to become a councillor

Community Councillors are elected by the public and normally serve four-year terms. Following elections, councils appoint a chair, or town mayor in town councils.


The Election Procedure

Ordinary elections of local councillors take place on the first Thursday in May, normally every four years.  Reorganisation of local government may cause alteration of the election day and election year in some cases.

The election timetable is as follows:

  •  Publication of notice of election: Not later than the twenty-fifth day before the day of
  • Delivery of Nomination papers: Not later than noon on the nineteenth day
    before the day of election.
  • Publication of list of candidates: Not later than noon on the seventeenth day before
    the day of election.
  • Delivery of notices of withdrawals of candidature: Not later than noon on the
    sixteenth day before the day of election.
  • Notice of Poll: Not later than the sixth day before the day of election.
  • Polling: Between 07:00 and 22:00 on the day of election. In calculating the timetable the Bank holidays and weekends are disregarded.


Nomination process

A prospective candidate must deliver or send by post (recorded delivery) to the Returning Officer, at Caerphilly County Borough Council, a valid nomination paper. This form is obtained from the Officer. The candidate’s surname, forenames, residence and description (if required) must be entered and his or her number and prefix letter from the current register of electors. The Returning Officer has a copy of this register, and the clerk of the
local council normally has one. The nomination paper must also contain similar particulars of a proposer and a
seconder. They must be electors for the area for which the candidate seeks election (i.e. the community or town or the ward if it is divided into wards): they must sign it.


What Next?

The returning officer appointed by a unitary authority is the person responsible for the conduct and arrangement for community and town council elections. If you are considering becoming a candidate for election it could be wise to contact the Returning Officer to obtain any more detailed information. Also, for more information about what life is like as a councillor contact One Voice Wales or alternatively your local community or town council.


There was an election in May 2017

After the May, 2017 Election, if a seat becomes vacant mid-term (or if there are not enough candidates to fill all council seats at election time) the council may be required to hold a by-election. In certain circumstances the council may then co-opt members to the council.