Standing as a Candidate | Standing as a Candidate | Sevenoaks District Council

Standing as a Candidate

The District and Town & Parish Council elections are fast approaching and this year, you could be representing your community. Being a District or Town & Parish Councillor gives you the chance to make a difference to quality of life for people in your local area.

  • To become a candidate, you must be at least 18 years of age and
  • You must be on the electoral register, or
  • Have lived, worked or owned property in the area for 12 months
  • In the case of a Town or Parish Council, you must have lived within 4.8km of the Parish for the previous 12 months.

Candidates can be nominated through a political party or can stand in their own right. If you are standing on behalf of a political party you must gain their permission first. You can stand in your own right as an 'Independent' candidate.

District Council candidates may be disqualified if they work for the Council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. All candidates may be disqualified if they are declared bankrupt or have a previous criminal conviction with a three-month or more prison sentence.

Sevenoaks District Councillors are responsible for setting policy within the District as well as attending regular meetings and bringing the issues of local people to these meetings. 

Town and Parish Councillors are also required to attend meetings, consulted on issues and can be responsible for amenities like parks and museums. The role can vary between areas, you would need to contact your Town or Parish Council to find out exactly what is expected. 

The nomination process

No experience is needed to stand for election as a Councillor. However, you must submit a nomination paper.

District Council nomination papers must be confirmed by a Proposer and Seconder and another eight people who support your nomination to stand as a candidate.

Town and Parish Council nomination papers must be confirmed by a Proposer and Seconder who support your nomination to stand as a candidate.

Everyone signing the nomination paper must be included on the Register of Electors for the Ward or electoral area in which the election is to be held. 

At the close of nominations, you will be notified as to whether or not the nomination is valid. If a candidate wishes to withdraw their nomination they must do so by 4pm 3 April 2019.

Some candidates appoint an agent to assist them and they can be appointed to take responsibility for the management of your campaign. This does not usually apply to Town & Parish Council elections. Candidates can arrange the appointment of other agents to attend polling stations and the counting of votes.

Does it cost money to become a candidate?

There is no charge to stand as a candidate in District or Town and Parish Council elections. However, there are strict rules on the amount and manner in which expenses are incurred by the candidate and how they are paid. The amount depends on the type of election and there is a limit on how much a candidate can spend. Because of these rules a detailed return has to be submitted showing exactly how much and in what circumstances a candidate has incurred expenditure. Expenses are non-refundable.

Important dates 

Publication of Notice of Election - Wednesday 20 March 2019

Nominations open - Thursday 21 March 2019 – 10am

Nominations close - Wednesday 3 April 2019 – 4pm

Deadline for a candidate to withdraw - Wednesday 3 April 2019 – 4pm

Deadline to appoint Election Agents - Wednesday 3 April 2019 – 4pm

Publication of Statement of Persons Nominated - Thursday 4 April 2019

Appointment of Poll and Count Agents deadline - Thursday 25 April 2019

Election Day – Thursday 2 May 2019 - 7am to 10pm

Find out more:

Election 2 May 2019

More detailed information about standing as a candidate can be obtained from the Electoral Commission website.

Visit the Be a Councillor website for further information.


District Council Candidates

District Councillors come from all walks of life, age groups and backgrounds and play a key role in shaping the district, from deciding planning applications and pub opening hours, through to setting council tax and parking charges, as well as representing voters in their ward.

If you are interested in becoming a District Councillor, you are invited to a Prospective Councillor event on Saturday 9 March 2019 at the Sevenoaks District Council Offices. The event, which starts at 9am and will last around two hours, will inform potential candidates about the Sevenoaks District, the District Council, the services it provides and the role of a District Councillor. Information will also be provided about the nomination process.

Register for the prospective councillor event

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