Becoming a local Councillor is an extremely rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to get involved in, and support, your local community whilst having a real say in its future. You will be joining a great team of local people who are driven by a desire to make a difference and deliver the best quality services for residents and communities across our area.
Councillors play an important leadership role in our communities. We need passionate, motivated, community-minded local Conservatives to come forward to represent their area. Perhaps you are already involved in a local community or voluntary organisation and want to take the next step or you have an interest in local politics that you want to pursue. If you are motivated by wanting to improve your community for the better and being a voice for your neighbours, then become a local councillor!
We welcome applications from people from all walks of life with lots of experience or none.
In North Oxfordshire we have two tiers of local Government:
Oxfordshire County Council: Oxfordshire County Council is responsible for adult and children’s social care services, education and cultural services including libraries and museums, highways maintenance and public transport and regional and strategic infrastructure and planning (amongst other things!)
Elections to Oxfordshire County Council happen once every four years with the next scheduled elections in May 2021.
Cherwell District Council: As a Cherwell District Councillor, you would have the opportunity to shape policy on leisure and sports facilities, planning, recycling and waste, and feed into the District’s agenda for business, enterprise and housing (amongst other things!)
Elections to Cherwell District Council take place in three out of every four years with the next elections taking place in May 2021 (postponed from May 2020 due to the coronavirus).
Banbury and Bicester also have Town Councils that elect political representatives. Town Councils are responsible for the civic life of the town from the organisation of local events to supporting our town centres, investment in local parks and play areas and grants to voluntary organisations (amongst other things!).
Elections to Banbury Town Council happen once every four years with the next elections taking place in May 2021 (postponed from May 2020 due to the coronavirus). Elections to Bicester Town Council happen once every four years with the next scheduled elections in 2023.
While you don’t need any necessary skills to become a Councillor, in order to be eligible to stand you must be:
- A British subject or a citizen of the Irish Republic or the EU and resident in the UK.
- At least eighteen years old on the day you are nominated (April of the election year).
- Either on the electoral register for the council area in which you are seeking election
- Or have lived or worked in that council area for at least twelve months to the date of nomination (April of the election year).
Individuals who are not currently members of the Conservative Party will also need to join in order to stand as a Conservative candidate.
If you would like to know more about becoming a Councillor, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions below. At the very bottom of this page is a downloadable booklet from the Conservative Councillors Association with more in-depth details which we highly recommend for anyone interested in taking this step. Or, for an informal chat, please call our office on 01869 811236.
Ready to throw your hat in the ring? TELL US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01869 811236.
What does a local Councillor do?
Local Councillors play an important role in bringing about positive change in their communities. You would be elected primarily to be an advocate for your area and a voice for the residents that live there. You would be expected to know your patch so you can raise any issues of concern and help to resolve any problems that may arise. Responding to residents’ queries (casework) will form a large part of your role. Councillors also make connections with, and support, local organisations, interest groups and businesses. While the main responsibility of a Councillor is to represent their residents, Councillors will also help develop strategic council policies – scrutinising decisions and reviewing policy proposals.
What skills do I need?
You do not need any special qualifications to be a Councillor. It is important that Councils have Councillors with a broad range of skills and life experience. Having good communication and interpersonal skills, problem-solving and organisational skills and being able to work in a team and see things from someone else’s perspective are all helpful attributes, but the main credentials are an interest in your community and a willingness to learn. Knowledge, experience and confidence will soon follow.
You will receive support from the Association and your council colleagues. Once elected, Conservative colleagues and Council Officers will be there to help you.
Do I have the time?
How much time you spend on your duties as a Councillor depends on the particular commitments you take on. The time commitment can range from 5 to 20 hours per week. As with most things in life, what you get back will depend on how much you put in. But the majority of Councillors have full-time jobs, families, and hobbies outside of politics and are able to fit their Council work around their lives.
I have a disability – can I be a Councillor?
Yes, provided you fulfil the general criteria as outlined above. Disabled candidates are entitled to extra funds or support to help them campaign and once elected the Council will work with you to overcome any barriers you may encounter as a result of your disability and work to ensure you are fully involved.
I'm interested, what do I do now?
Pick up the phone or email to let us know: 01869 811236 or email@example.com. We can then chat about available opportunities, timescales and the application process.