Councillors at Dorset Council

All 82 councillor seats for Dorset Council are due for election in May 2024 and the nomination process for these seats has now closed.  

For further information please also see:

Who can be a councillor

The answer is almost anyone, as long as they are:

  • British, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union
  • 18 years of age or over
  • registered to vote in the area, or if they have lived, worked or owned property in the council’s area for at least 12 months before an election

They do not need any previous experience to become a councillor, they just need a genuine commitment to help their local community.

Who cannot be a councillor

Some people cannot be a councillor because they are disqualified. The full range of disqualifications is complex. Please check the electoral commission's website for more information. 

The unitary council

Dorset Council is a unitary council which oversees the provision of local services across the majority of Dorset. In addition, there are town and parish councils across Dorset which provide other local services within their localities.

Once elected, a Dorset Council councillor is asked to complete an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and they will automatically become a data controller (as detailed by the Information Commissioner’s Office) responsible for information they receive. More information about is available to the councillor during their induction after the elections.

Political parties or standing as an independent

In order to represent a political party at an election they must contact the relevant party’s local office. It is ultimately up to the party to select them as a candidate for election. The party may be able to support them in running for election with help canvassing and a wealth of experience from previous candidates.

They do not have to stand for a political party and they could stand to be an independent councillor. Independent candidates must build their own profiles and establish their aims within the community. Although independent candidates do not receive the same support available to party candidates, there are many groups and associations that can help candidates with the election process.