How to get elected

Do I qualify to be a councillor?

To stand for election as a councillor for Salford City Council, on the day of nomination and also on the day of election you must be:

  • 18 or over
  • Be a UK, EU or commonwealth citizen
  • Be registered to vote in or have worked or lived in the city of Salford for one year

You cannot stand if:

  • You work for Salford City Council
  • You hold a politically-restricted post for another local authority
  • You are bankrupt
  • You have served a prison sentence (including suspended sentences) three months or more within five years prior to the election
  • You have been disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices

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

No, although the majority of people become councillors as a result of joining a political party. However some people stand for election as independents (candidates who do not belong to any political party).

Standing as a member of a political party

If you are thinking of standing as a candidate for a particular political party then you will need to be a member of that party's local organisation.

The parties currently represented on the city council and their contact details (in alphabetical order) are:

Party Contact name and address Telephone
Conservative Party CCA
Information Unit
25 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0DL
0207 984 8155
Labour Party Membership Services
The Labour Party
Freepost LON
10417
London
SW1T 4UT
0870 590 0200

If you are interested in standing for other political parties, please visit the register of political parties via the Electoral Commission's website.

Standing as an independent councillor

The independent group on the Local Government Association has prepared a handy hints guide for independent councillors and candidates.

If you would like a guide contact:

Paul Ogden
Head of Independent Group
Local Government Association (LGA)
LGA House
Smith Square
London
SW1P 3HZ

Telephone: 0207 664 3224

Other sources of information on becoming a councillor (in alphabetical order) are:

What is the procedure for nomination?

You are required to collect nomination papers from the Elections Office at Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, Salford, M27 5DA, who will also supply you with your free copy of the register of electors.

The nomination paper must contain your full name and home address. In addition, if you are standing as the candidate of a registered political party you must include a description of not more than six words. If you are standing independently, your description must be "Independent".

  • You must be proposed and seconded. The signatures of two electors from the ward in which you are standing are required
  • You must also obtain the signatures of eight assentors from the ward
  • All of the signatories to the nomination must be registered as local government electors in the ward in which you are standing
  • The elector number of each of the people nominating you must be shown correctly against the person's name. A mistake could invalidate the nomination paper
  • The nomination paper must be delivered to Elections Office, Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, Salford, M27 5DA, not later than noon on the 19th working day before the day of the election

Consent to nomination

You must also formally give your consent to nomination in writing in order for the nomination to be valid. Consent must be given within one calendar month before the last day for delivery of nomination papers. The form of consent must set out the grounds on which you are qualified to stand, and requires a declaration by yourself that you are not disqualified from standing. The consent has to be signed by yourself in the presence of a witness. The signature, name and address of the witness are also required.

Certificate of authorisation

If you wish to use a description on the ballot paper which associates you with a registered political party then you must also supply a certificate of authorisation, issued by or on behalf of the registered nominating officer of the party.

The certificate of authorisation must be signed by the registered nominating officer or, where issued on behalf of the nominating officer, some evidence of the authority to act.

Can I use an emblem when campaigning?

If you are authorised to use a description associating you with a registered political party then you can also include the party emblem on the ballot paper next to your name.

A request to use a registered party's emblem must state the name of the political party and a description of the emblem to be used. You are not entitled to use any variation on a registered emblem. The request must be made in writing by yourself, and must be delivered to the returning officer together with the nomination papers.

What is an election agent? Do I need one?

As a candidate you may wish to appoint an election agent. The object in appointing an election agent is that there is an experienced person responsible for the proper management of the candidature and for the control of the expenditure.

  • You can take on this role yourself but it is helpful to have an agent
  • If you are in a political party, it may be that one person takes on the role of agent for several candidates
  • It is the agent's responsibility to ensure that forms are sent in at the correct times and to keep a clear and accurate record of financial expenditure, to be submitted after the election
  • You ought to work closely with your agent as a double check

If an election agent's appointment is not received by noon on the 16th working day before the day of the election, then you will be deemed to be your own agent.

Is there an election timetable to follow?

Every type of election is run in accordance with statutory rules which specify the election table for that type of election.

The deadlines contained in all the various election rules include the following items:

  • Publication of notice of election
  • Delivery of nomination papers
  • Delivery of notices of withdrawals of candidature
  • Publication of statement as to persons nominated/notice of poll
  • Applications to vote by post or proxy
  • Polling day

Election expenses - who pays?

If you decide to become a councillor and spend money on your campaign, it is important to note that you have to pay for your own publicity material, property, services or items used for the campaign.

However, if you are a member of a political group or some other group, you may find that financial help is available. You will need to check this with your political party or group.

Furthermore, although you or your party/group pays for the election expenses, you must keep all your receipts, which will need to be handed to the town clerk immediately after the election. This is done to make sure that the money you spend on the election campaign does not go over the set limit of £600, with an additional five pence for every entry in the ward register of electors for which you are seeking to be elected.

Where can I get more information?

More information about standing for election to the council can be obtained from the principal electoral services officer:

Name: Neil Watts

Address:
Elections Office
Salford Civic Centre
Chorley Road
Swinton
Salford
M27 5DA

Telephone: 0161 793 3446
Enquiry form

If you are interested in standing in elections to the council, please let Neil Watts know as soon as possible and he will send you details, application forms, and the detailed election timetable when they become available.

The Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission has published a very useful guide to assist prospective candidates in the nomination process, the election campaign, election day itself and election expenses. For more information, visit the Electoral Commission

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