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Become a Councillor

Elections are usually held on 1st Thursday in May, with the next one taking place on Thursday, 2 May 2024.

You can stand as a candidate in 3 different types of elections:

  • local elections
  • UK parliamentary elections (general elections)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections

Most candidates are nominated through a political party. However, individuals are welcome to stand in their own right.

Nomination forms for local and UK parliamentary elections can be obtained from the Town Hall, Market Street, Chorley, PR7 1DP.  Nomination forms for the Police and Crime Commissioner election are available from the Principal Returning Officer for the Lancashire region, for more information on who this is Tel 01257 515132.

Who can stand as a candidate?

In local borough elections you can stand as a candidate if you are a British citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic, the Commonwealth, or another member state of the European Union and at least 18 years old on the day you submit your nomination papers.

You also must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • you are a registered local government elector in the Chorley borough, both on the day you are nominated and election day. You can check whether you are registered by emailing us at or calling 01257 515132
  • you have lived in the borough for a period of 12 months prior to nomination
  • your main or only place of work has been in the borough for a period of 12 months prior to nomination
  • you have occupied, either as an owner, a tenant, any land or premises in the borough for a period of 12 months prior to nomination

You cannot be a candidate if you:

  • are employed by or hold a paid office in the council (including any joint boards or committees)
  • are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
  • have been sentenced to a prison term of 3 months or more, without the option of a fine, at any time during the last 5 years
  • have been convicted or reported guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court

There may also be other reasons that prevent you from being a candidate.  View further detailed information about standing as a candidate in all elections on the Electoral Commission website.


Need to know more?

To find out more about becoming a Councillor, you can:


Why are Councillor's important?

Councillors are important and vital to the local community because:

  • They are a voice of the community
  • They are champions of the users of local services
  • Local people know what is best for local communities
  • They are critical to the effective functioning of democracy
  • They play a very important role in helping to shape future services for the benefit of the local people.


What do Councillors do?

  • Councillors are elected by local people to plan, run, monitor, and develop Council business, which includes taking part in partnerships with others
  • Councillors work to improve the quality of life for people within the Chorley area and make decisions about local issues
  • Councillors are essential in deciding what is in the public interest amidst a range of conflicting issues and views
  • The overriding duty of Councillors is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.


Areas of responsibility

The role of a local Councillor can be varied, and it is up to each individual Councillor how they work. Each Councillor has three main areas of responsibility. These are:

1) Representing people in their area (ward)

  • Holding 'ward surgeries'
  • Dealing with enquiries from residents in their ward about aspects of Council business
  • Undertaking casework
  • Explaining Council policy and making sure that the policy has been carried out fairly
  • Campaigning on local issues
  • Winning resources for their ward
  • Encouraging community participation and involvement in decision-making
  • Listening to the needs of local people and taking their views into account when considering policy proposals.

2) Community Leader

  • Representing the Council and constituents on local management boards, school governor committees or local partnership panels
  • Participating in the activities on any outside body to which they are appointed and reporting back to the Council
  • Developing a working knowledge of the organisations, services, activities, and other factors important to the community's wellbeing and identity.

3) Policy Maker

  • Councillors can influence local policies through their role on full Council and their role on committees, which both scrutinise the work of the Cabinet and recommend policy development
  • Membership of management boards of voluntary bodies and school governors
  • Membership of partnership boards
  • Membership of a political group, which meet separately from Council meetings.


What happens after you're elected?

After the election results are announced, newly elected Councillors will be invited to sign the 'Declaration of Acceptance of Office' , which must be signed as soon as possible but before they are able to start their Councillor work.  

The term of office for a Councillor is four years, which starts the fourth calendar day after the announcement of the election results.

An induction day will be held the week after the election for newly elected Councillors.  There will be an opportunity to meet fellow Councillors, senior officers and receive important information which would be useful in those first few weeks and beyond,  This is also when newly elected Councillors will receive their IT equipment.


As well as supporting residents in their communities, Councillors sit on committees and make decisions at local level. They also receive a monthly allowance to enable them to carry out their role.

Councillors are public office holders, and accordingly are subject to a statutory regime, designed to promote high standards in public life. By signing the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, a Councillor is agreeing to be bound by the Member Code of Conduct. You must ensure that you read this prior to signing it, indicating that you will adhere to it.

For more information and advice on begin a Councillor visit the Local Government Association (LGA) website for newly elected Councillors.


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