Become a Councillor

A councillor is someone who people elect to represent them in local government. Each councillor represents the people who live in a specific "ward" (a geographical area within the district).

Some wards - depending on size - may have more than one councillor representing them.

Across Babergh and Mid Suffolk, we currently have 66 councillors representing our residents across 48 different wards.

Councillors have many different responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Represent the interests of their ward and of individual residents
  • Develop strategies and policies for the area
  • Take part in public consultations and campaigning
  • Response to enquiries from the residents
  • Attend, and participate in, Full Council meetings
  • Represent the Council at external meetings

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have their own constitutions. These documents provide the legal framework within which both Councils conduct business and make decisions.

Read the Babergh District Council Constitution

Read the Mid Suffolk District Council Constitution

How many hours does a Councillor work?

Time commitments for a councillor can vary from 5 hours a week to 20 or more. The time spent carrying out responsibilities heavily depends on the councillor's role within the Council itself and their local community. Councillors who sit on a committee or the Cabinet will be expected to dedicate more time to their role.

All our councillors receive a financial allowance for their time and work. If a councillor carries out extra responsibilities, they may also be entitled to a "Special Responsibility Allowance". Councillors with childcare or caring responsibilities are also able to claim extra allowance.

Read more about our Members' Allowance Scheme

Does a Councillor need any special qualifications or experience?

No formal qualifications are needed to become a councillor. Previous experience is also not necessary.

However, to stand for office there are legal criteria that has to be met. Candidates must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • a UK, EU or Commonwealth citizen
  • registered to vote on the current register with their local Council; or
  • have either worked or lived in the Council's area for one year; or
  • have been an owner or tenant of any land or premises in the Council's area for one year

You cannot stand for office if you:

  • work for your local council or hold a politically restricted post
  • are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
  • have served a minimum of three months prison sentence during the five years before the election day
  • have been disqualified under legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices

How do I become a Councillor?

For more information and guidance on how to become a councillor, please email