Skip to main content

Be A Councillor

What are you passionate about in your local area? Do you want Waverley to be the cleanest and greenest place to live, work and visit in Southeast England? Do you want to ensure that residents receive the services that they need, when they need them? Or perhaps you want to make Waverley a welcoming place for people from across the globe and be recognised for our outstanding urban planning and design and infrastructure? 

Waverley Borough Council needs people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect the communities they serve to put themselves forward for election.  Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a councillor. 

Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing a population of over 128,000 people across the Borough, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.

Local councillors are the elected representatives of Waverley Borough Council. They are elected for four years unless they are elected at a by-election, in which case they must stand again at the next normal election for the seat. 

If you think being a councillor could be for you, read on to find out more.

Waverley Borough Council is currently made up of 57 councillors who represent 29 wards in the borough.  Following a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, this will reduce to 50 councillors representing 24 wards from May 2023.  

Each councillor is elected for a four-year term with the exception of by-elections. 

Political Makeup of Waverley Borough Council 
Find your local Councillor or Ward 

You can watch videos of some of our councillors talking about why they decided to stand to be a Councillor and what the role entails in our Be A Councillor Series

To be a councillor, you have to stand at local elections and compete with other candidates to gain the most votes from the local electorate. 

You do not have to belong to or represent a political party to stand in the elections. You can stand as an Independent Candidate or choose not to have a description to your name. If you choose to stand for a party you will need to go through their selection process before you can be put forward as their candidate. Get in touch for support with independent politics or party politics

In order to stand at the elections, you must first get a set of nomination papers from Electoral Services at Waverley Borough Council, which will explain the nomination process. These packs are available nearer the election date. Find out more about Waverley’s Electoral Services. 

Visit our Becoming a councillor section to find out what a councillor does, what skills are useful, and the next steps to take. 

To become a councillor, you have to put yourself forward at local elections and compete with other candidates to gain the most votes. 

Below are some of the most important steps to consider. 

  1. Find out when the next local government elections are in Waverley by visiting Waverley’s Elections Webpage

  1. Make sure you are registered on the electoral roll with your local council. 

  1. If you are interested in independent politics (not a political party), you can get resources and advice from the Local Government Association’s Independent Office and the Independent Campaign Corner. As an independent, you will also need to start working out your views on local issues and services. 

  1. To stand for a political party, you’ll need to be a member of the party, get involved locally and go through their selection process before you can be put forward as their candidate for election. You can find out more on each party’s website. This can take up to about a year or more, so please contact your political party as soon as you can. You can also contact the Local Government Association (LGA) political offices.  

  1. Almost anyone can be a councillor but to check that you are eligible in the “Am I eligible?” section of this page.  

  1. Hear from real councillors about what it’s like being a councillor and their tips and inspiration.  

  1. Get in touch with a councillor to find out more with an informal chat (or ask us to help). 

  1. Watch the Be a Councillor film.  

  1. Use the Local Government Association’s Be a Councillor worksheets to see how you would handle some real situations as a councillor  

  1. Explore, research and keep up to date about Waverley’s different communities, services, issues and ideas. 

  1. Attend council meetings and local events to find out more about local government and your community. 

  1. Read the guidance from the Electoral Commission about the processes and forms to fill out to put yourself forward for election. To become nominated as a candidate at a local government election in England, you need to submit a completed set of nomination papers to the place fixed by the Returning Officer by 4pm on the 19th working day before the poll. 

  1. Contact the Electoral Services team to get the necessary paperwork, find out the deadlines, and see what help they can give to submit your papers by visiting Waverley’s Elections Webpage or emailing: electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk 

  1. You will need to get 10 people (in the ward where you wish to stand) to sign your nomination papers. 

  1. Build your local profile, reputation and campaign. Find out more about campaigning from the Local Government Association’s Independent Office, your political party, or the Electoral Commission

We are planning a number of briefing events for prospective candidates which will be updated in this section soon and advertised in our Events section.

Councillors are not paid a salary but they are entitled to receive a ‘basic allowance’, which is intended to recognise the time devoted to their work on behalf of local people in connection with council business. Each council sets its own rate. Waverley Borough Council publishes this on the Waverley Borough Council - Councillors' allowances and expenses webpage. 

By law, all members of the Council are required to complete a Register of Interest Form, the details of which are published annually. 

Waverley Borough Council is committed to providing councillors with advice and support for all aspects of their role. After an election, all new councillors will attend an induction programme to enable them to meet the key people who will support them in their role and attend events to familiarise them with the work of the council, the expectations of councillors and ways in which they can carry out key tasks. 

Councillors are also provided with ongoing learning and development support to broaden their knowledge, skills and confidence. In the first few weeks, experienced councillors will be available to guide you in getting to know the workings of the borough council and your role within it. Democratic Services and Business Support will be your point of contact to signpost you round the council for the first couple of months. 

Tablets will be issued at the reception day for newly elected councillors. We will provide a secure app for Androids and iPads that will enable you to remotely access the Council’s systems, email, calendar, contact information as well as Council and Committee papers. Remote access can also be facilitated via councillors’ own home laptops/and or tablet devices. 

All councillors are expected to provide at their own expense, a private ADSL broadband connection and computer hardware, including a printer and consumables. ICT staff can assist and advise councillors but will not be able to place orders on their behalf. 

Mobile phones are issued to all councillors that sit on the Executive, the Chairmen and the Leaders of the Political Groups. 

An audio loop system is available in Council Chambers for people with a hearing impairment and council offices and chambers are wheelchair accessible. Councillors are encouraged to contact Democratic Services and Business Support following their election to discuss their personal needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made. 

If you are interested in standing for a political party, please view the Electoral Commission Register of Political Parties.

There are different processes and deadlines for each political party, so if you are keen on representing one in particular, we advise that you join them as soon as possible to ensure you are eligible to stand as a candidate for them before the cut off period. Most political party websites will have a way in which you can get in touch with their Waverley branch. 

To find your local councillor or which ward you live in visit: Your Councillors - Waverley Borough Council 

You can stand to be a councillor as long as you are: 

  • British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union 

  • At least 18 years old 

  • Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election. 

If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, you should contact the electoral services team by calling 01483 523413 or emailing electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk.

You can’t be a councillor if you: 

  • Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, or for another local authority in a politically restricted post 

  • Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order 

  • Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the five years before election day 

  • Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court 

  • Are subject to the notification requirement of or under Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. 

For all key election dates visit: Waverley Borough Council - Elections 2022 

Council meetings are usually held in the evening starting at 7pm but can occasionally occur during the day. 

Council’s calendar of meetings 
Watch our meetings live 

Be a Councillor Email: beacouncillor@local.gov.uk

Waverley Borough Council
Chailey Gibb, Electoral Services Manager
Tel: 01483 523413
Email: electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk

Guildford Borough Council
John Armstrong
Democratic Services and Elections Manager
Tel: 01483 444102
Email: john.armstrong@guildford.gov.uk

Electoral Commission
Tel: 0333 1031928
Email: pef@electoralcommission.org.uk
www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Local Government Association (LGA) Independent Group
Tel: 020 7664 3224
Email: independent.groupLGA@local.gov.uk
Website: https://www.local.gov.uk/lga-independent

If you are interested in other political parties, please view the Electoral Commission Register of Political Parties

Electoral Commission - Online contact form / 0333 103 1928