How to become a district councillor

Check district councillor vacancies

District Elections are held every four years. In the Breckland District there are 49 councillors who are elected in 27 wards.

The next elections will be held in May 2023.

Candidates can stand as a party candidate or as an independent candidate.

To become a candidate you must be at least 18 years old at the date of nomination and be either:

  • A British citizen
  • An eligible Commonwealth citizen, or
  • A citizen of any member state of the European Union

You must also meet at least one of the following four qualifications:

  • You are, and will continue to have an entry on the electoral register.
  • You have occupied, as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the area for 12 months.
  • You have worked in the area for 12 months.
  • You have lived in the area for 12 months.

Candidates may be disqualified if they work for the council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. All candidates may be disqualified if they are declared bankrupt or have a previous criminal conviction with a three-month or more prison sentence.

For further information on reasons of disqualification please checkSection 80 of local government act 1972, or any decision made under sections 78A or 79 of the Local Government Act 2000, within the meaning of Part I of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

I'm too young to apply

Some parish councils also run youth councils, which are comprised of a number of young people representing their local schools and colleges. They are granted their own political forum by having a space and a time to meet and discuss matters that affect them. These youth councils are in direct communication with their parish councils so they can also be involved in decision-making. Contact your parish council or speak to your school to find out if either is involved in such a scheme and you are interested in getting involved.

The Electoral Commission provides comprehensiveguidance for standing as a candidate at local elections in England and Wales.

Access to Elected Office Fund

In July 2012, the Government announced the launch of the Access to Elected Office Fund. 

The fund offers individual grants of between £250 and up to £40,000 (with an average value of about £4,000) to disabled people who want to be considered for selection as candidates for an election, or are planning to stand for election.

The financial support will apply to candidates who are applying to the following list of elections and by-elections:

  • UK Westminster elections.
  • English local elections.
  • Greater London authority elections.
  • English mayoral elections.
  • Police and Crime Commissioners.

The fund now also covers parish and town council elections.

To apply for the fund or to find out more,visit the Access to Fund website.

Casual vacancies, arising through resignation, death or disqualification may occur at other times and notice is given locally. 

If you would like any more information regarding the filling of casual vacancies, email the Elections team (elections@breckland.gov.uk), telephone (01362 656870), or write to:

Breckland Council
Electoral Services
Elizabeth House
Walpole Loke
Dereham
Norfolk
NR19 1EE

Last updated: 02/03/2022 16:25:11