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A brief introduction to the role of a Parish Councillor


To become a Parish Councillor, Section 79(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 requires councillors to be:

  • be at least 18 years old on the day of nomination
  • be a British citizen, or an eligible Commonwealth citizen
  • meet at least one of the following four qualifications:
    1. They are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the parish from the day of their application onwards.
    2. They have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish during the whole of the 12 months before the day of their application.
    3. Their main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of their application has been in the parish.
    4. They have lived in the parish or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of their application.

Apart from meeting the qualifications for standing for election, councillors must also not be disqualified from standing. The criteria set out in Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 says councillors cannot stand if:

  1. They are employed by the parish council.
  2. They are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
  3. They have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended sentence), without the option of a fine, during the five years before the day of their application.
  4. They have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which covers corrupt or illegal electoral practices and offences relating to donations) or under the Audit Commission Act 1998.
  5. The Local Government Disqualification Act 2022 section 81A  came into force on 28 June 2022 now also states that anyone who is the subject of relevant notification requirements or subject to a relevant order under the Sexual Offences Act is disqualified.

The full range of disqualifications is complex and if the applicant is in any doubt about whether they are disqualified, they should ask the Clerk for help who can them sign post them to the relevant  information.  It is a criminal offence to make a false statement on the application as to a councillors qualification for being elected,

Please let me know if you are unsure that you meet the qualifications to be a councillor.

If successful, you must also be willing to accept the Code of Conduct and other obligations of a Parish Councillor.