If you are interested in standing in elections the Electoral Commission have lots of information on their website about the qualifications required for standing https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/ .
You do not have to belong to a political party to stand for election. It is possible to stand as an independent (a candidate who does not belong to a particular political party). However, if you're thinking of standing as a candidate for a particular party then you will need to be a member of that party's local organisation.
Please note that due to the pandemic some legislation required for standing has changed and you are recommended to check on the Electoral Commissions website for the latest advice.
Becoming a Member of Parliament for Dartford:
People wishing to stand as an MP must be over 18 years of age, be a British citizen or citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland.
Authorisation is required to stand for a specific party, otherwise candidates will be described as independent or have no description.
Please note that a £500 deposit is required when submitting the nomination papers - returned if the candidate receives over five per cent of the total votes cast. Please contact the Electoral Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will advise how this can be paid.
Becoming a Borough Councillor:
If you wanted to stand as a Councillor in Dartford you would need to be:
- At least 18 years old – there is no maximum age limit
- Registered as a local government elector in the Borough of Dartford; or have lived or had your principal place of work in the borough for 12 months before standing; or have been an owner or tenant of any land or premises in the borough for a least 12 months before standing
You do not need any formal qualifications to stand as a councillor, but you cannot stand if:
- You work for your local council
- Hold a politically restricted post for another organisation
- Are subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order,
- If you have served a prison sentence (including suspended sentences) of three months or more within five years prior to the election,
- Or you have been disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices
The term of office is four years. At the end of this time you can retire or stand for re-election.
Becoming a Parish or Town Councillor:
A parish council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish/town. It is the level government closest to the community, with Dartford Borough Council above it in the hierarchy.
In Dartford there are seven Parish Councils and one Town Council: -
* Bean parish Council
* Darenth Parish Council
* Longfield and New Barn Parish Council
* Southfleet Parish Council
* Stone Parish Council
* Sutton-at-Hone and Hawley Parish Council
* Swanscombe and Greenhithe Town Council
* Wilmington Parish Council