Be a Councillor

Be a Councillor

 

Interested in standing as a Viva Europa Councillor?

 

It doesn’t cost anything to stand as Councillor. But before you consider standing you should read the information on this excellent website: https://beacouncillor.co.uk/could-i/

 

Councillors are important positions and it is essential that prospective Viva Europa candidates can commit to fully representing their community. Most Councillors also have regular day-jobs (though many are retired) and receive a paid ‘allowance’ (essentially a salary) plus some expenses for their council work. The allowance differs from place to place – in a small district the allowance might be around £4,000, but in cities it can be over £11,000. Council meetings are often held in the evenings around once a month. In cities they are usually held during the afternoon once a month. To stand as a Viva Europa Councillor, you must commit to attend and vote regularly if elected. To do the job effectively, you need to commit to around 4 hours a week (plus meeting attendance). To see how much the allowance is in your district, search ‘council members allowances’ in Google.

 

There are variations, but as a guide electoral Wards commonly have around 12,000 people registered to vote, with the winning Councillor candidate often getting around 1,400 votes. Turnout is often around 33% of the registered electorate.

 

All elected Viva Europa Councillors will be expected to reach out to local residents’ groups and to address local concerns as a representative of the electorate. Local government is extremely important and we must not allow the fight against Brexit to dilute the effectiveness of the role of the local council.

 

No previous political experience is required to be a councillor and we have a proud tradition in this country of electing Independent and minority party members to Council positions. If you passionate about fighting Brexit you probably have the desire and energy to make a success of the role.

 

Where can I stand?

See Elections for the details of the May 2018 elections.

 

The website https://beacouncillor.co.uk/could-i/ explains the rules but essentially, as long as you live or work somewhere in the local authority area, you can probably stand in one of the Wards. You should also read this guide to check that you are able to stand: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/141784/Part-1-Can-you-stand-for-election-LGEW.pdf

 

Which seats are Viva Europa targeting?

With so many council elections taking place we need to be focussed. The LibDems and the Greens have a coherent policy on fighting Brexit and where they have a decent chance of winning, we shouldn’t undermine them. The plan is to focus on the Ward seats where in the last council election the Tories and Labour were first and second (it doesn’t matter which of them won).

 

Also, there is quite a lot of anti-Brexit activity happening in London so we don't intend to be too active in London.

 

How do I stand for election as a Viva Europa candidate?

You will need to be fully committed to this cause – leafletting every home in the Ward will take many hours between now and May. It doesn’t cost anything to stand for election but you will need to spend some money printing leaflets. We will give you a template for you to personalise and print – you can use your home-printer to print the leaflets if you wish.

 

The process works like this:

  • You check on the May Elections page to make sure there is no-one standing in Ward for Viva Europa.
  • Look at the council website and find out how your local Wards voted in the last election. If you are unsure of whether there is an election in your intended Ward or of the result, you can email their general ‘elections’ address – each council publicises a general info email address on their site. You need to be living or working in any part of the local authority to be able to stand for election in one of the Wards – you don’t need to live a Ward to stand in that Ward. You should check on our May Elections page to make sure no-one is standing in that Ward for Viva Europa already.
  • Contact us and advise that you would like to stand and where
  • We will ask you to complete a short questionnaire
  • Once we give you the go-ahead, we will tell you how to join Viva Europa (paying £4 membership).
  • We will email you the canvassing leaflet template. We also mail you a personal permission certificate which enables you to stand as a Viva Europa candidate (this allows you to stand as a party candidate and use the logo and tag-line on the ballot paper).
  • You advise your local council that you intend to stand – you should do this informally at first by emailing their elections enquiry address. Councils have someone specifically working on co-ordinating the election and they will put you on their distribution list.
  • On 27 March the Notifications of Election will be published – you will then have a week to submit the election forms. You will need to take the completed forms in by hand. We will give you more information on the paperwork once you have joined us, but the forms can all be found here:

 

We recommend you set up an email address specifically for this election (Gmail is free and easy). Ideally, we would want to could put this email address on the site so people can see who to contact if they want to help.

 

How much will it cost to stand?

As we say, it doesn’t cost anything to stand as a councillor. You will also need to fund your own leaflet production (and things like posters and stickers if you wish). Viva Europa will supply a dummy template, with text, logo and graphics and a space for your personal information. But if you want to tweak the template text (perhaps to include some key local issue) you are free to do that.

 

If you print your own leaflets (using the template), they will probably cost only 1p -2p each. You will need to join Viva Europa (see below).

 

Do I need to be a member of Viva Europa?

Yes, but it only costs £4. The process for joining will be on-line shortly – at the moment we are only accepting membership from people who want to stand in the elections.

 

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