SKIPTON Town Council is launching a campaign to encourage people to consider standing as a councillor at the forthcoming elections.

On Thursday, May 2, elections will take place to appoint thousands of local councillors across the country and, in Skipton, all 16 seats on Skipton Town Council become vacant – something which only happens once every four years.

Skipton Town Council is the smallest of the three councils covering Skipton and it provides services specifically for the town - including allotments, recreation grounds, play areas, street furniture and some street lighting, public toilets, grass cutting and tree maintenance.

The council also runs Skipton Market and supports a large number of tourism initiatives, including many of the events and festivals which take place in the town each year.

Dave Parker, the council's chief officer, said: “Over the last four years the council has continued to develop, taking on a number of new duties and responsibilities – and our existing councillors and council officers have worked very hard to make this happen.”

He added: “As the election approaches, it is only right that we should encourage new people to think about standing for election – so, if you have an interest in what is happening in your town, this is a good time to consider putting yourself forward as a town councillor.”

Anyone elected as a councillor would represent residents in one of four Skipton wards, and would work with other councillors and council officers to help deliver the town council’s range of public services, determine how the town council’s portion of the council tax is spent – and help support and promote Skipton as a vibrant market town.

“As part of election rules you need to be able to prove that you have a direct connection with Skipton, so you will need to either be on the electoral register within the parish, or you need to have lived or worked in the town, or within 4.8km of it, during the whole of the last year, " said Mr Parker.

"There is no need to be linked to any political party, so you can stand in your own right as an individual and, traditionally, younger people are significantly under-represented on local councils so we would very much encourage anyone over the age of 18 to consider standing.”

Nominations open on Tuesday, March 19 and close on Wednesday, April 3. Nomination packs are available from the town council’s offices, in the town hall on the High Street, Skipton - or from electoral services at Craven District Council.

Elections in a number of other parishes within Craven – and for some ward seats within Craven District Council – will also take place on May 2.

Packs from the town council include further background information but, to discuss the possibility of standing in more detail, contact chief officer, Dave Parker, on 01756 700553 or by email to

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I need to be?

The minimum age is 18. Younger people are very much under-represented on councils across the country, so the town council would encourage people of any age to consider standing for election.

Do I need any qualifications?

No. All you need is an interest in what is going on in your local area. Common sense and a reasonable knowledge of the area would prove useful, however.

I work full time, can I still stand?

Yes. Many councillors successfully undertake their duties alongside a full-time job. Most meetings tend to be in the evening – and some employers will allow you occasional time off to attend meetings if you need to.

Do I have to be linked to a political party?

No. You can stand for election in your own right as an individual and there is no need to have any political views or affiliation whatsoever. If, however, you would like to represent a particular party you cannot do so without their permission. You should contact the relevant party directly for more information on how you might represent them.

Will I get paid?

No. The role as a town councillor is unpaid.

How much time would it take up?

Being a councillor will take up some of your spare time. You will need to find time to speak with the people you represent when they have an issue they wish to discuss, and you will need to attend some meetings of the council and find time to read the associated paperwork – but you can choose for yourself how much time you spend overall.

Would I need to attend any meetings?

Yes. Councillors are required by law to attend meetings unless they have a valid reason for not being there (illness, work commitments, holidays etc). On average you will need to attend one or two evening meetings each month.

Does it cost anything to stand for election?

No. Unlike a general election, there is no deposit to pay when you stand in a local council election. You can spend some money on promoting yourself on the run up to the elections (producing a leaflet or flyer for instance) but, to make things fair for everyone, there are very strict rules on how much can be spent.

What are my chances of getting elected?

There are a total of 16 seats on the council which need to be filled at the elections in May. These are split into four ‘wards’ each with four councillors. The four people who get the largest number of votes in each ward will be elected. You can only stand for election in one ward so you will need to decide which part of the town you would like to be involved with.

I’m still not sure, is there anyone I can talk to?

Yes. You could talk to an existing councillor – or you can contact the council’s chief officer for more information on the work of the council and the role of councillor.