Become a councillor

Ordinary people doing an amazing job

Being a councillor is a great job. You can:

  • get involved and listen to the views of local people;
  • influence change for the benefit of your community;
  • learn something new every day; and,
  • meet new people.

It isn't a 9am to 5pm job. You can do most of it at a time that suits you. It can normally fit around other commitments - from full-time work to caring for young children - and allows you to make a valuable contribution to your community. But it does require commitment and dedication.

You may want to discuss it with your family and friends, so that they understand that you may be spending some of your spare time on council business.

Although working with a political party increases your chance of becoming a councillor, you can choose to stand as an independent candidate.

All we ask of you is that you are:

  • 18 or over;
  • a British citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic, the Commonwealth, or another member state of the European Union;
  • live, work, or own/occupy property within district;
  • willing to follow the councillor's code of conduct.

You can't be a councillor if you:

  • work for our council, or work in a politically restricted post in another council.
  • are bankrupt, or have been surcharged in excess of £2,000.
  • have served a prison sentence (including suspended sentences) of three months or more in the last five years before the election.
  • have been disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices.

If you are in arrears on your council tax, you will not be able to vote on finance matters.

Job description

You will:

  1. make sure that taxpayers money is spent wisely.
  2. make sure people get the services they need.
  3. check that people are receiving quality services that are value for money.
  4. make sure that everyone gets treated fairly.
  5. support local businesses.
  6. look after the local environment and help to protect it.
  7. find places to build homes and help people to find housing they can afford.
  8. encourage people to have healthy lifestyles.
  9. promote the area and what it has to offer.
  10. help vulnerable people to get back on their feet and live independently.

You should:

  • have good communication skills;
  • be good at problem solving;
  • be good at working in a team;
  • be able and willing to use email, the Internet and Microsoft office;
  • have good organisational skills; and
  • be able to get your local community involved and keep them informed.

You might also have skills and knowledge gained from professional experience or working with other groups. Don't worry if you don't yet have some of the skills listed. We provide you with the support, information and training you need.

You will get:

  • excellent training that will further develop your skills;
  • the change to specialise in particular areas;
  • a basic allowance of £4,300, plus expenses;
  • to meet and work with people from across the district;
  • the flexibility to work hours that suit you;
  • the opportunity to make a difference in your community.

The next district council election is on 2 May 2019. If you would like to become a councillor:

  1. Decide whether you wish to represent a political party. If so, get in touch with them (See "Your public services")
  2. Decide which ward you want to represent, a ward is a part of the district that elects one, two or three councillors, depending on its size.
  3. Contact our elections office from February 2019 for nomination papers. Get them signed by 10 registered electors and submit them by noon on date to be confirmed (April 2019). You don't have to pay a deposit to stand for election to the district council.

For more information, please contact Member Services.

"When I became a councillor, I could suddenly see why things happen the way they do."

Your public services

There are three levels of local government in the Chichester District.

We are Chichester District Council. We cover 303 square miles, including Chichester, Selsey, Midhurst and Petworth, with a population of 112,600. We deal with around 100 services including:

  • waste and recycling collection;
  • planning and building control;
  • housing;
  • housing and council tax benefits;
  • sport and leisure;
  • community safety;
  • environmental health;
  • public conveniences;
  • street cleaning;
  • car parks and CCTV;
  • business support and development;
  • coastal protection;
  • abandoned vehicles; and,
  • cemeteries.

We work closely with a number of partner, community and voluntary organisations, from West Sussex County Council and parish councils to the South Downs National Park Authority and the Police.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC)

This council covers the entire county of West Sussex. It mainly deals with:

  • education;
  • social services;
  • roads and transport;
  • births, deaths and marriages;
  • fire and rescue;
  • libraries and archives; and
  • trading standards.

The third type of council is parish or town councils. There are 58 located across our district. They look after facilities such as:

  • allotments;
  • park benches; and
  • some playgrounds.

They play an important role highlighting local issues that matter most to you. They also put forward views on planning applications, and changes to local services.

The details of all parish councils can be found on our website.