How to stand as a Councillor

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Cornwall Council Elections Thursday 6 May 2021

Cornwall Council will have 87 electoral divisions at the next election - that’s 87 Councillors covering the whole of Cornwall. Councillors are elected on a four-year term.  The next Cornwall Council elections are on Thursday 6 May 2021.

Who can be a Cornwall Councillor?

You can stand as a candidate if:

  • you are at least 18 years old, and
  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of European Union, and

Meet at least one of the following four criteria:

  • you are registered as an elector in Cornwall
  • and/or you have occupied as owner/tenant any land or premises in Cornwall during the whole of the 12 months prior to the day you are nominated
  • and/or your main place of work during the last 12 months has been in Cornwall
  • and/or you have lived in Cornwall during the whole of the last 12 months

Certain people are disqualified from standing for a local authority. Further information on disqualification is available from your local electoral services office.

Becoming a candidate

Candidates can be nominated through a political group or may choose to stand independently.

If a candidate stands for a political party they must have that party’s support.  The political party’s nominating officer will provide a certificate of authorisation.

Nomination papers and guidance notes are available from the electoral services office a few weeks before polling day. To be accepted as a candidate you must get ten registered local government electors to support your nomination.  They must be from the electoral division you wish to stand in. Details of the 87 electoral divisions are available from:

Completed nomination papers must be delivered before 4pm on the date of close of nominations.

Appointing an agent

Candidates must appoint an election agent for the election. However candidates may choose to act as their own election agent.

Where details of an election agent have not been provided by the deadline for appointment, the candidate is assumed to have taken responsibility for the role themselves.

The role of the agent involves:

  • overseeing the campaign
  • ensuring that their participation is conducted in accordance with the law

An appointed agent oversees election expenses and often organises the campaign for the candidate.

Declaring election expenses

After the election all candidates must, by law, submit a declaration of election expenses (whether elected or not).  This must be sent to the Elections Office. Please note that these expenses will not be reimbursed by Cornwall Council.

Local Election Timetable

Event Date
Request nomination papers from the Election Team No later than 22 March 2021
Notice of Election As above
Close of nominations 4pm on 8 April 2021
Polling day 6 May 2021
Last day for delivery of Candidates Expenses Returns 11 June 2021


Please note these dates may change in accordance with regulations. The full, confirmed timetable will be available nearer the date of election.

More information

If you would like more information on how to become a councillor visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/beacouncillor. Or contact your local electoral service office:

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