‘Get into government,’ Merton urges residents

Merton Council is calling on would-be politicians to come forward if they would be interested in helping run the borough and giving their neighbours a voice in local government.

Anyone living or working in Merton is invited to a non-political meeting at the civic centre, on London Road, Morden, at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 18 November to discover all about how to become a councillor.

Councillors do not have to belong to a political party – many stand as independent members – and a range of current serving councillors will be on hand during the get-together to explain what being a councillor involves and what skills would-be members need. Council officers will also be able to advise attendees whether they are eligible to stand at the local elections. Merton will provide anyone who stands for election with all the training and support they might require.

Anyone interested in becoming a councillor and taking part in local government can find out more on http://www.merton.gov.uk/getinvolved
London Councils also have some useful information for prospective councillors as part of their ‘be a councillor’ campaign at http://www.beacouncillor.org.uk

Merton Council’s cabinet member for community safety and engagement Councillor Henry Nelless said:

“Becoming a councillor is a fantastic opportunity for residents to get involved in running the borough and ensure that Merton Council listens to them and their neighbours – to put residents’ needs first.

“Anyone can get involved in local government and we are looking for people of all ages and backgrounds to help us provide our residents with the best value for money services possible.”

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Notes:

Who can be a Merton councillor?

Almost anyone can be a councillor as long as you:
– are British, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union
– are 18 years of age or over

– are registered to vote in the area or if you have lived, worked or owned property in the area for at least 12 months before an election.

– are not a Merton Council employee

– have not been declared bankrupt

– have not served a prison sentence (including suspended sentences) for more than 3 months in the 5 years before the election

– have not been disqualified under corrupt or illegal practices legislation

– do not work in a senior post for another council