Becoming a Councillor

Could you become a District Councillor and make a difference in your community?

This page gives information on the role of a District Councillor and how to become one. Elections for North Kesteven District Council take place every four years and the next set of elections are scheduled to take place on Thursday 2 May 2019. Parish Councils across the district will also have elections on 2 May 2019 and you may wish to contact your local council for specific information about becoming a parish Councillor.

We all have a different experiences, skills and interests: perhaps you'd like to get more activities for young people, help local businesses thrive, make decisions on planning applications or improve services generally. Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in many ways. Representing the District’s residents, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.

Perhaps you are already involved in local affairs and want to take the next step. Or you may be looking for a worthwhile and rewarding way to help your local community. You don't need special skills or experience and you get paid a reasonable allowance for your time, with training available to help you develop new skills.

Further information is provided below.

North Kesteven District Council serves the District of North Kesteven, which covers an area of 92,000 hectares and is characterised by small settlements and large areas of farmland. There are around 100 communities in the District, the two largest being Sleaford (with approximately 19,000 people) and North Hykeham (with 15,500 people).

North Kesteven District Council comprises 43 Councillors representing 26 wards. Councillors are elected for a four year term.

The Leader, appointed by the Council appoints Councillors to the Executive Board. The Executive Board at North Kesteven comprises six Councillors. All Executive decisions are taken by, or on behalf of, the Executive Board.

Councillors usually meet as a full Council 7 times a year. Individual planning and licensing decisions are taken by separate committees, to which Councillors are appointed.

There are also Overview and Scrutiny Panels to act as a check and balance on decisions taken by the Executive Board.

For information on the role and responsibilities of Councillors, see our Role of a Councillor webpage.

To stand for election, on the day of nomination, you must be:

  • 18 or over; and a British or eligible EU or Commonwealth citizen

And you must be:

  • registered to vote in North Kesteven; or
  • for the whole 12 months preceding, you must have occupied, as owner or tenant, any land or premises in North Kesteven; or
  • for the whole 12 months preceding, worked (as principal employment) in North Kesteven: or
  • for the whole 12 months preceding, lived in North Kesteven.

You may not be able to be a Councillor if you:

  • work for North Kesteven District Council;
  • hold a politically restricted post for another authority;
  • are subject to a bankruptcy (or interim bankruptcy) restrictions order, a debt relief (or interim debt relief) restrictions order;
  • have served a prison sentence (including suspended sentences) of 3 months or more within 5 years prior to the election;
  • have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 in regards to corrupt or illegal practices;
  • have been surcharged in excess of £2000 by the auditor or court.

More information is available at:

Political party useful websites:

Other useful contacts:

  • NK Publication of Notice of Election - Wednesday 13 March 2019
  • Deadline for Receipt of Nominations - 4.00pm Wednesday 3rd April 2019
  • Appointment of Election Agents - 4.00pm Wednesday 3rd April 2019
  • Publication of Notice of Election Agents - 4.00pm Wednesday 3rd April 2019
  • Publication of Statement of Persons Nominated - 4.00pm Thursday 4th April 2019
  • Day of Poll - 7.00am to 10.00pm Thursday 2nd May 2019
  • District Election Count - Thursday 2nd May 2019

‘The Councillor Induction Programme 2019 will be made available to view here in February 2019. 

What is the Councillor Induction Programme?

The Councillor Induction Programme will take place after the Local Elections in May 2019.

The Councillor Induction Programme is an essential series of activities, informative training sessions and events, designed for both re-elected and newly elected Members. 

It is the responsibility of the Councillor to attend and participate in the Induction Programme. The Programme provides Councillors with the opportunity to gather the necessary information to begin to serve their residents straight away, with the essential tools and equipment needed to undertake the Councillor role. 

It is important to note that it will be considered essential (compulsory) for Members of certain Committees to attend certain events in the Programme to receive the required training for that Committee e.g. Licensing or Planning Committees. Non-attendance for this essential (compulsory) training will mean that you are not able to sit on this committee until the training has been completed. 

Candidates standing for election will need to set aside time to attend these events. 

The Local Government Association provides useful guidance for New Councillors, as a helpful introduction to this important role. 

For more information you can email Democratic Services Team at democratic_services@n-kesteven.gov.uk.

 Can I be elected to more than one Council? Yes you may be a Councillor for several Councils at the same time – such as District Council, County Council and Parish Council.

Do I have to belong to a political party? No. Although the majority of people do stand for election to become Councillors as a result of joining a political party, some people stand for election as independents.

How much of my time will it take up? It is for you to decide the level of commitment you are able to give to being a Councillor. Generally Councillors tend to set the number of hours they can allocate to suit their personal circumstances this could range from a few hours every week to a few hours each day at busier times.

Will I be paid? There is no salary for being a Councillor, however, you will be paid an allowance to reimburse you for time and expenses incurred whilst on Council business. In 2018/19 the allowance is £4,900 per Member. For more information please see our Member Allowance Scheme webpage.

What support can I expect? A comprehensive induction programme is arranged for all elected Councillors. A draft programme will be available to download from the end of February 2019 and will be included in the Nomination Packs. Some training and development events will be essential (compulsory) for you to attend and these will be clearly marked on the programme. As a Councillor you will be using email, a council issued tablet to access council agendas and other related information and full IT support will be given. Many councillors now also choose to keep in touch with local people through social media and personal webpages. In addition to this, there is a rolling 12 month Member development programme of training and briefing events with ongoing support to Councillors from the Democratic Services Team.

Will I get time off work? By law your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to perform your duties as a Councillor. Many employers recognise that the skills people develop as Councillors are also very useful in the workplace. You should, however, discuss this with your employer before making a commitment.

Who pays for my election costs? You have to pay your election costs, however, if you are a member of a political or other group, you may find that financial help is available. You will need to check this with your political party or group. You must keep all receipts, as you will be required to submit a statement of election expenses shortly after the election. There is a limit on election expenditure. More information can be found in the candidates nomination pack.

I’d like to become a Councillor, What next? The next set of Council elections take place on 2 May 2019. Full details of the electoral process will be available in a candidates nomination pack which will be available to download around the end of February 2019. A briefing event will be held by the Council to explain more about the election process. You will need to complete and submit the nomination pack, which will be available to download in February 2019. For more information please see our Electoral Registration and Elections webpages.

When do council meetings take place? Most Council meetings and committee meetings are held in the evening, starting at 5pm but some will take place during the day. You can see a full calendar of council meetings on our democracy website. Councillors are appointed to serve on committees at the Annual Council meeting which is held in May each year.