Becoming a councillor

Who can become a Councillor and how do I apply?


District & Parish Elections 2023

District and Parish elections are due to take place on Thursday 4 May 2023, polling stations will be
open from 7am-10pm. Remember, you must take a valid form of photo ID in order to vote at a
polling station.
Which forms of ID can I use to vote?
You may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable.  You can use any of the following:
• Passport
• Driving licence (including provisional license)
•  Blue badge
•  Certain concessionary travel cards
• Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
•  Biometric Immigration document
•  Defence identity card
•  Certain national identity cards
For more information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted,
visit or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.


What is the role of a councillor?

Parish Councillors are:
• The voice of the community representing local people;
•  The lynchpin to partnership work with other levels of local government.
All the seats on the Parish Council are up for election every four years giving you the perfect
opportunity to get involved by standing as a representative of your community. From time to time, a
casual vacancy will arise. There is a process for co-opting a new councillor (see below for details).
We hope this guide will help you make up your mind as to whether you would like to become a

Why become a councillor?

People become councillors for all manner of reasons.
Most want to:
• Make a difference to their local community and be involved in its future shape;
• Ensure that their Parish is able to access the services it deserves;
• Represent the views of local people and ensure they count.

No specific qualifications are needed to become a councillor - life experience is the best thing to
bring to the role. It’s vital that members represent all sections of the community - we want to attract
people from a broad range of backgrounds to stand as candidates.

For a comprehensive overview of the roles and responsibilities, as well as eligibility criteria and more, please download our information pack here.


Getting Elected

To stand for election to a local Council you must meet the following criteria.

Nomination criteria

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a UK or Commonwealth citizen; or be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland; or be a citizen of another Member State of the European Union
  • Be an elector of the local council; or in the past 12 months occupied land or other premises in the area the local council serves (as owner or tenant); or work in the area the local council serves (as your principal or only place of work); or live within three miles of the local council boundary

You may not become a Parish Councillor if:

  • You are a paid employee of the Parish Council
  • Within the previous five years you have been convicted of an offence and have been sentenced to not less than three months' imprisonment (whether suspended or not) without the option of a fine
  • Within the previous 12 months you have been subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or an interim order
  • If you are subject to any enactment relating to corrupt or illegal practices.

If you are interested you can contact the Council at or download the application form.


Parish Council Elections

Ordinary Parish Council elections take place every four years - usually on the first Thursday in May unless this clashes with a parliamentary general election. The next Parish Council election for Clanfield will be May 2023

A Parish Councillor will serve for a period of four years if elected at an ordinary election unless they resign before the end of that period or become disqualified for any reason. If a vacancy occurs in between the scheduled four yearly elections, there may need to be an extra election to fill the vacant position.

If there are an insufficient number of valid candidates for an election to fill all of the vacancies on the Parish Council, all those who have been validly nominated are automatically elected as councillors.


When insufficient candidates are proposed for seats at an election, the council may choose someone to fill a vacancy through co-option.