Brading Town Council represents the diverse interests of the whole community and understanding the needs of different groups is an important part of a Councillors role. Groups made up of diverse individuals tend to make better informed decisions.
You may already be involved in local community groups and willing to help improve the face of local government and make a difference to the quality of life for the residents of Brading. If you are ready to take the next step, then you could be just the person Brading Town Council is looking for.
It is important that Brading Town Council has councillors who not only reflect and represent the community it serves, but also have a broad range of skills and life experience. You don’t have to be highly educated or have a profession: skills gained through raising a family, caring for a sick or disabled relative, volunteering or being active in faith or community groups can be just as valuable.
Why become a Town Councillor?
There are many different reasons why people decide to become a local councillor. They include:
- wishing to make a difference and be involved in shaping the future of the local community.
- being concerned about the local area and wanting to ensure that the community gets the right services.
- wishing to represent the views of local people and ensure that community interests are taken into account.
- wishing to contribute individual business or professional skills.
- concerns about one particular issue.
- as an extension of what you are already doing through a political party, trade union, charity, voluntary group or school governing body.
The date for the next Town council elections will be May 2025, but seats may become vacant before that date. A vacant seat may not automatically be put up for an election therefore ten or more electors from the town must request an election in a specified period.
If an election is not called by ten or more electors, the Town Clerk can call for a co-option of a councillor, where residents of the town or parish who meet the requirements can write in to ask to be considered for co-option onto the council. The council then meets and considers those requests and votes on who fills the vacant seat.
Brading Town Council has 7 democratically elected and 1 co-opted representative who serve as Town Councillors. As local representatives they have a unique and privileged position and the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives. They care deeply about the community and seek to represent the views of the residents in improving and promoting the town.
Town Councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years. If Councillors wish to stay in post they can stand for re-election.
Residents can choose who stands for election as well as deciding who is elected to serve on Brading Town Council. The eligibility criteria for a Town Councillor are set out below. As well as being eligible, a candidate must be proposed and seconded by electors of the parish of Brading, as part of the nomination process
Whilst you don’t need any special qualifications to be a councillor, having or being able to develop some of the following skills, knowledge and attributes will help you in the role:
- Communication skills; these include listening and interpersonal skills, public speaking skills, the ability to consider alternative points of view and to negotiate, mediate and resolve conflict.
- Problem solving and analytical skills; this includes being able to get to the bottom of an issue and to think of different ways to resolve it, including considering the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
- Team working; being able to work with others in meetings and on committees and being able to complete any tasks that you agree to do on time.
- Organisational skills; being able to plan and manage your time, keep appointments and meet deadlines.
- Ability to engage with your local community; you may have to make yourself available through meetings, the media, the internet, public forums, debates and on the telephone.
Eligibility to stand as a Town Councillor
You must be able to answer ‘yes’ to one of the citizen status questions below:
- British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election.
You must be able to answer ‘yes’ to one of the Parish Connection questions below:
- An elector in the Parish Ward
- Owner occupier or owner tenant for the whole of previous 12 months
- Worked in the Parish as principle or only place of work during previous 12 months
- Lived in or within 3 miles of Parish boundary for the whole of the previous 12 months
You must be nominated by electors in the ward you wish to represent
- A Ward Elector must Propose you
- A ward Elector must Second you
Use your vote
In the UK, there are three different ways you can vote. Most people vote in person at a polling station. However, if you are not able to go to the polling station in person on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy (where someone votes on your behalf).
How you vote is up to you but please ensure that you do vote for your local representative.
Register to vote at: gov.uk/register-to-vote