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Becoming a councillor

If you wish to become a county councillor you must meet certain criteria to stand for election.

You must be over 18 to become a candidate and must be in one of the following categories:

  • be on the electoral register for the area in which you want to become a candidate
  • have lived in the area for at least the past 12 months 
  • worked in the area for at least the past 12 months 
  • owned property in the area for at least the past 12 months

You can't be a councillor if you work for the council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. Bankruptcy or a previous criminal conviction with a three-month or more prison sentence would also disqualify you as a candidate.

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

Before you can be accepted as a candidate you must get one person to agree to propose your nomination, another person to agree to second the proposal and a further eight people to sign your nomination paper. All of these people must be on the electoral register (see our Register to vote page for more information) for the Electoral Division in which you are standing.

The Electoral Commission is an independent body that was set up by the UK Parliament. It aims to foster public confidence and participation by promoting integrity, involvement and effectiveness in the democratic process. You can get further information about being a candidate on the Electoral Commission's website or alternatively you can visit Be a councillor. For the type of support you would receive as a county councillor, see our Support for councillors page.

Contact us
Committee Services
03000 269 714
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
0191 383 4206
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