The most recent Town Council elections took place on 4 May 2017. The next normal local elections are due to take place in May 2021. The elections process is managed by Wiltshire Council and the latest election documentation and guidance can be found here.
Most people are eligible to stand for election but there are a few rules. For example you must be at least 18 or older on the day of nomination and be a UK, Commonwealth or European Union citizen.
Detailed criteria for eligibility is set out in Section 79 of the Local Government Act 1972. Section 80 of the Act sets out why a person may be disqualified and, therefore, ineligible. The legislation can be seen here.
What do Councillors (also known as members/elected members) do?
An individual Councillor’s role is to respond to the needs and aspirations of the local community and provide leadership. Councillors have three main elements to their work.
1) Decision making - Through meetings and attending committees with other elected members, Councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.
2) Monitoring - Councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.
3) Getting involved locally - As local representatives, Councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations. These responsibilities and duties often depend on what the Councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available.
How much time does it take up?
Some Councillors spend two or three hours per week on Town Council business but many spend much more time than this, depending on their interests, role and committee memberships.
The Council holds several meetings including Full Council meetings each month and Council (Planning) every three weeks for all 20 Councillors. There are three main Committees, each having nine members, and they meet every other month. All regular meetings are held in the evening and take place in the Town Hall. The current calendar of meetings can be found here.
In the main, being a Town Councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community, and helping to make it a better place to live, work and visit.
Knowledge, skills and experience
Councillors do not need to meet any specific competency requirements but should have some knowledge and understanding of local affairs and the local community. The Town Council is committed to training and development and there is a wide range of topics where training will be offered.
To find out more about what your Town Council does please visit the Town Hall, attend one or two meetings, or speak to one of our Councillors or staff.
Additional information is available at The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) website.