Guide: How to become a County Councillor

Part 8

Becoming a councillor

Local people become councillors for many different reasons, but mainly because they feel strongly about the area in which they live and they want to make a difference.

They may already work with local organisations and residents’ groups with the sole aim of improving their community.

Existing councillors have said …..

“I first stood for elections in 1985 after I became annoyed with the bus and rail services and car parking facilities in my area. I was also keen to push ideas which were new at the time, such as Park and Ride. My local party said, “Put your money where your mouth is” and, 27 years later,I’m still proud to be a councillor representing my area”

“I enjoy every minute out ‘on the stump’ – it’s wonderful having a licence to knock on all those doors and talk to all those people; places you didn’t know existed, familiar faces behind unfamiliar doors. People are usually pleased to see you. Admire the children, the daffodils or the tantalizing smell of lunch. Never, ever talk about politics – why spoil all those beautiful new friendships?”

“I care passionately about the community in which I was brought up, and wanted quite simply to be able to put something back into that community.  Ultimately I really like trying to help people.”

“I became a Councillor to represent my local community and those young women and mothers like me

“I wholeheartedly believe in a fair and open society with transparency of governance and being a Councillor is the best way to promote these principles for the benefit of my local community.”

The Council is calling on you ………

The Council is hoping to instil enthusiasm for local government, and wants the opportunity to appeal to people of all backgrounds.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Phil Norrey, says:

“The Council is only ever as vibrant, effective and relevant as the people elected to run it.  The decisions made by our councillors affect residents’ quality of life in countless ways, from education, health and wellbeing and roads to supporting local businesses.”

If anything, life experience is the most important attribute a councillor can bring to the role.  There are some conditions, but generally any UK, Commonwealth or EU citizen over 18 who lives or works in Devon, can stand for election as a Devon County Councillor.

They can belong to a political party, or they can stand as independent candidates, separate from political parties.

Local people become councillors for many reasons, but mainly because they feel strongly about the area in which they live and they want to make a difference.

Many of our current Devon County Councillors come from a range of backgrounds, some still in their first term while others have successfully been re-elected many times.

See Cllr Hawkins video

See Cllr Morses video

See Cllr Dewhirsts video


For further information about the Council and Standing for Election, please contact:
Karen Strahan
Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager
Telephone 01392 382264

Other useful websites