Councillors represent local communities. Some Councillors are members of political parties. However, you do not have to belong to a political party, candidates can stand as independents.
Councils are looking for people from all walks of lives to represent local communities. You can stand for election to become a Councillor as long as you are:
- British, a commonwealth citizen or citizen of any EU member state
- over 18 years of age.
You must also meet one of the following criteria:
- be registered to vote in the council area
- have lived in the council area for the last 12 months
- have had your main job in the council area for the last 12 months
- have ownership or tenancy of property in the council area for the last 12 months
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has thirty one Councillors representing nine electoral wards (4 x four Member wards and 5 x three member wards). The primary role of a councillor is to represent their ward and the people who live in it and to ensure the Council’s statutory duties are carried out.
Councillors’ duties include:
- making decisions about the way the council is run and about the services the council provides
- acting as a point of contact with local groups
- representing the views of local groups and individuals regarding council policies, services and the needs of the area
- working with local people and organisations such as the police, health service and local business to develop and plan services
- holding open sessions – known as surgeries – when they meet the people they represent (their constituents) to discuss whichever issues they have about the neighborhood.
Councillors receive a basic salary of £17854.30 and are eligible to claim expenses for correspondence; telephone calls, travel and subsistence, attendance at seminars and conferences and meetings of outside bodies. Some Councillors also receive additional payment in recognition of particular duties they undertake such as being a chairperson of a committee or being Convener or Leader.
More information about Local Government Elections can be found at the following links:
- Improvement Service – Support for Councillors (Opens in a new window or downloads a file), which includes documents on 'First weeks in Office, 'Roles and Responsibilities at Ward' and 'Council Level'
- Electoral Commission - Council Elections in Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
- Scottish Government - Scottish Parliament website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
- The Access to Elected Office Fund (Scotland) administered by Inclusion Scotland is now open for disabled applicants running for selection and as candidates for the Scottish Parliament elections in 2021, and in any by-elections for Local Authority and Scottish Parliament seats.
Guidance for Candidates/Agents
Guidance and resources that you need if you are a candidate or agent at council elections in Scotland Electoral Commission (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
Electoral Registration Officer
Electoral Registration Officer (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)