Stand to be a Liberal Democrat Councillor in 2022
In May 2022, Waltham Forest will have the opportunity to elect a new council. Our Labour-run council has a consistent record of failing residents, poor decision making, and refusing to listen. Nationally, both Labour and the Conservatives are pushing ahead with a disastrous hard Brexit and failing to stand up to rising intolerance that is dividing communities across the country.
We can do better.
In local councils up and down the country, the Liberal Democrats are working hard for local people, standing up for our communities and making sure everyone knows the difference the Liberal Democrats can make.
At the next election, we want to stand a team of local champions for Waltham Forest. Leaders from the community, not leaders imposed on the community. We want to stand a team that represents the whole community, every background and every corner of the borough. Could you be the local leader that your community needs?
What kind of candidates do we want?
We are looking for people of all backgrounds, ages, beliefs, and experiences who reflect the diversity of our borough. We are looking for people who are motivated to work and deliver change for their local area, who have community links and experience they can draw on. We are looking for team players that will support all of our candidates and aren't only in it for themselves.
You may already be a campaigner, community activist, volunteer for a charity, involved in your local church or mosque, or a local school governor. You might already help deliver leaflets or organise events for the Liberal Democrats. If so, you already have a great basis for taking up public office and becoming a Liberal Democrat councillor. But ultimately, if you really care about your area, and want to work to make it the best place it can be, becoming a Liberal Democrat councillor could be for you.
Liberal Democrats are proud to serve their communities and set high standards for themselves. They are part of shaping the future of their communities, villages, towns and cities. They are hugely important in supporting and upholding the principles of liberal democracy in action. Local government is undergoing huge changes and challenges. It is more important than ever that Liberal Democrats are there to remind everyone that local government is there for local people.
To be a Liberal Democrat candidate you must meet all of the following:
- Are at least 18 years of age.
- A British citizen, an Irish citizen, a Commonwealth citizen or an EU citizen.
- Live or work in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
- Are not the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
- Do not have any criminal sentences of more than three months in the last five years.
- Are not a paid employee of Waltham Forest Council.
- Are a paid-up member of the Liberal Democrats. (join us here)
- Agree with the aims and values of the Liberal Democrats.
What is involved in being a councillor?
Councillors are expected to be active in the life of their local community and act as the voice of their constituents, raising any concerns with the local council on a range of matters related to the work of the council. From waste collection to street lights, housing to social services, councillors talk to people about everything and anything.
Liberal Democrat councillors represent the Party and its policies, and are an important part of their local party, feeding back to members about what is happening at the council. Councillors may also work with politicians at a regional, national and European level on issues of local importance which have national implications. Being a Liberal Democrat councillor is a rewarding experience and many councillors will tell you that they have obtained new skills and experiences whilst working with their communities.
You don’t have to be highly educated or have a profession. Skills gained through work, education, bringing up a family, caring for a sick or disabled relative, volunteering or being active in community groups are really valuable. In addition, the Liberal Democrats and our councillors’ association (ALDC) offer training for people thinking of standing for election, as well as for candidates, and all councils provide training for both new and experienced councillors.
A councillor’s role will vary depending on whether the Liberal Democrats control the council or are in opposition, but generally speaking, will include some or all of the following broad responsibilities:
- Dealing with individual pieces of casework for local residents and helping them resolve issues.
- Leading on local campaigns on behalf of the local communities.
- Serving on council committees which look at decisions being made or have specific legal or ‘regulatory’ duties.
- If Liberal Democrats run the council, potentially making decisions which decide how local services are delivered.
- Acting as community leaders and helping local people get involved in the decisions made by the council.
How do I become a candidate?
Before you can be a councillor you must get elected. The Liberal Democrats aim to stand candidates in every ward, and are always looking for good new people to get involved. There is a procedure to go through, but it is not complicated and there are lots of points at which you are offered help and support.
Getting approved as a candidate: Councillors often have to make difficult choices in public about the services their councils are responsible for. This is a considerable responsibility and so we want to ensure that potential candidates know what is expected of them and that anyone who has the Lib Dem name and logo associated with them does the party credit.
Our approval process involves completing a simple application form and an interview. The interview will be professional but not be too formal. It shouldn’t be a harsh grilling and all efforts will be made to put interviewees at ease. We will try to let you know whether you have been approved as soon as possible, and if you have your name will be added to our list of approved candidates.
Getting selected as a candidate: Once you have been approved, the next step is to be selected as a candidate for a ward. As a democratic party, it is important that we have a fair, open and transparent process for choosing the people who stand for us in elections. The procedure is not designed to be complicated but is intended to ensure we get the best candidates and that everyone who put themselves forward is given an equal opportunity of being selected.
When the local party wishes to select candidates for a particular ward, everyone on the approved candidates list will be asked to send an expression of interest by email to the Returning Officer if they wish to stand for that ward. The Returning Officer will send details of a hustings meeting to all member who can come along and listen to speeches from candidates and ask questions before voting for their preferred candidates. Where there is an election for a candidate, this will be done through a secret ballot using the Single Transferable Vote system.
What are the next steps?
Simply fill in and return the form below to express an interest in standing. Our Approvals Panel will review your application and invite you to a sort 30-minute interview to go over the role and make sure there is nothing to prevent you from standing.