Be a champion for your community

The clock is ticking down on the deadline for candidates to come forward if they want to stand for election in Somerset in May.

There are around five weeks to go before nominations close for those interested in standing as one of Somerset’s community champions at county or local level.

Candidates can also attend a virtual drop-in on Wednesday 2 March between 5.15 and 6.15pm, Joining instructions will be supplied to those wishing to attend – please contact democraticservices@somerset.gov.uk.

The first drop-in, on 23 February, proved popular with those who joined the virtual event with questions ranging from what support is available to successful candidates to the potential workload for new members.

The drop-in provides a “safe space” for people to ask questions, voice any concerns and learn at first hand the process involved in standing for election on 5 May. The presentation is available online here.

These are crucial elections for Somerset with the creation of a new, unitary council in April 2023 – the first major change to the way the county is governed in almost 50 years.

New councillors will build a new and very different kind of local government, that will shape the county for decades. They will have more power to drive the changes people want, whether standing for their county, or more locally in city, town, and parish council elections.

Councillors are ordinary people doing an extraordinary job. They can make sure that decisions being made meet the needs of the people of Somerset. They will be the voice of their community helping to shape and direct local services. People from all walks of life can bring something special to their council, whether it’s at a county level or hyper-local.

City, town, and parish councils will – if they wish – play a bigger part in making sure that Somerset’s services are the best they can be. More powers will be devolved, and grass roots councils will be given the chance to take on greater responsibilities.

Nominations for election can be submitted to the appropriate District Council office from 22 March and the deadline is 4pm on 5 April for the elections taking place on 5 May at county, city, town, and parish council levels. For the county, 110 councillors will be elected in 55 divisions, and they will serve a five-year term.

For their first year, County Councillors will take responsibility for all current County Council services and oversee the local government reorganisation to establish a single unitary council on 1 April 2023. District councils will remain until 31 March 2023 and the councillors serving on them will continue in their roles until that date.

From 1 April 2023, the 110 councillors of the unitary council will be responsible for services that are currently delivered by the county and four district councils, ranging from adults and children’s social care to highways and housing, and from libraries to planning and licensing.

If you are interested in standing for election, at county or city, town, and parish level you can find out more here:
www.somerset.gov.uk/how-the-council-works/elections
www.local.gov.uk/be-councillor
www.nalc.gov.uk/our-work/local-elections

Key dates:

  • Notice of election published – 21 March 2022
  • Nominations accepted from – 22 March
  • Deadline for candidates’ nominations – 5 April 2022
  • Statement of persons nominated published – 6 April 2022
  • Deadline to register to vote – 14 April
  • Close of postal vote applications – 19 April 2022
  • Polling Day – Thursday 5 May 2022
  • Count of votes and declarations of results for 110 councillors – 6 May 2022