How to become a councillor

Councillors play a very important role in society, giving a voice to their community and helping to shape future services for the benefit of local people. Local democracy in Oxford will be strengthened by attracting people from a broad range of backgrounds to stand as a candidate to represent their community as a councillor.

What councillors do

Councillors have a wide ranging role, but their duties include:

  • actively encouraging community participation and citizen involvement in decision-making
  • representing the interests of their ward
  • dealing with constituents' enquiries and representations, fairly and without prejudice
  • meeting regularly with key local stakeholders
  • developing a working knowledge of the organisations, services, activities and other factors important to the community's well-being and identity.

Who can stand as a councillor

Almost anyone can stand as a local councillor, as long as they:

  • are at least 18 years old on the day of nomination and polling day
  • are a British citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic, the Commonwealth or another member state of the European Union
  • have not been declared bankrupt.

The majority of councillor candidates stand as representatives of political parties but anyone is entitled to stand as a candidate provided they meet the qualifications. Details of elections and by-elections are publicised as they occur.

How to get nominated as a councillor

Each candidate must be nominated by a separate nomination paper, signed by 10 registered electors of the ward in which they wish to stand.

If you want to stand as a candidate for a registered political party, you are also required to submit a certificate from the party's nominating officer authorising your candidacy and use of the party's description and emblem.

If you are standing independently, you can only describe yourself as 'Independent' or give no description at all.

You must also give your consent to your nomination, in writing.

All these documents must be submitted to the Returning Officer by noon, 19 working days before polling day.

More information

You can get more information about standing for election to the Council by contacting our Elections Office.

If you are interested in standing in any election to the Council, please let the Elections Office know as soon as possible and they will be able to send you details, the various forms and the detailed election timetable when they become available. 

Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.