Information for candidates
Our guide for prospective Councillors provides answers to questions about the role, what it entails and includes some useful contacts.
We've also answered some frequently asked questions below.
You don't need any qualifications to be a Councillor. However, you must be at least 18 years old and satisfy the necessary residence qualifications.
Residence qualifications are in Part 1 of the Electoral Commission’s Guidance for Candidates and Agents.
This document also provides details of the grounds on which you may not be permitted to stand.
If you have any questions about whether you are eligible to be a Councillor, contact the office of The Electoral Commission on 020 7271 0616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
County Councillors don't receive a salary but are entitled to an allowance. All Norfolk County Councillors currently receive a basic allowance of £9,308 per annum.
Councillors with special responsibilities, such as a chair of a service committee, receive an additional special responsibility allowance.
Allowances are set by an independent panel and are claimed monthly.
There is more information about the Members’ Allowances Scheme in the Norfolk County Council Constitution (Part 9.1).
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, (part VI, section 50), you may be entitled to take time off for civic duties. Some employers understand the need for Councillors to attend meetings during working hours, however you should discuss this with your employer.
How much time would I have to commit to the role?
It depends - there are no fixed hours. Councillors have the opportunity to serve on individual committees and time spent can vary from a few hours a week to full-time, according to commitments.
You can stand for election either as an independent candidate, or as one affiliated to a specific political party.
Download Standing as an Independent Candidate from The Electoral Commission.
Or, if you're interested in standing as a candidate for a specific political party, contact the following people to arrange an informal chat:
United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
Liberal Democrat Party
There are five main service committees:
- Adult Social Care
- Children’s Services
- Environment, Development and Transport
- Policy and Resources
The number of representatives from each party on each committee depends on the number of seats each party holds on the Council as a whole.
At Norfolk County Council, every elected Councillor must undertake to observe the Council’s rules set out in the Constitution of a Code of Conduct that governs the behaviour of Councillors whilst in public office.
These include policies and protocols relating to:
- Conflicts of interest
- Declaration of business interests
- Dealing with the media
- Procurement of goods, contracts and services
- Dealing with planning applications
- Guidance for Councillors serving on outside bodies
Full details are included in the Norfolk County Council Constitution.
All newly elected Members are offered a comprehensive induction learning programme.
The training takes Members through the practical steps which will inform them about all of the Council’s work.
There are sessions on topics such as:
- The County Council’s political structure
- The role of County Councillors
- Decision making processes
- IT equipment and support
- Standards/ethics regime
- Skills training
A small team of officers provides support with administration.
There are three political assistants who provide specific support to the three largest party political groups on the Council, currently Conservative, Labour and UKIP.
Smaller groups share a part-time personal assistant.
Councillors are provided with an iPad and a non-data enabled mobile phone. The Council’s ICT Services department provides technical support and there is a dedicated Councillor’s hotline.
To stand as a candidate, you were required to submit a completed set of nomination papers by 4pm on Tuesday 4 April 2017. This date has now passed and you may no longer apply to stand as a candidate in the 2017 local elections.
There are legally binding rules and regulations regarding your conduct as a candidate. These include:
- How much you can spend on your campaign
- How you may use the information contained on the Electoral Register and the lists of absent voters
- The use of venues for public meetings
- Guidelines for the publicity you may produce
- Ensuring that your campaigners follow the Code of Conduct for campaigners in Great Britain