Be a Labour & Co-operative Councillor

Interested in standing as Labour & Co-operative?
Here's everything you need to know.

Our work in local communities is inspired by co-operative values, with local authorities, service users, and community organisations working in partnership.

It's an approach based on the belief that local people should be at the heart of decision-making, and that services are responsive to the specific needs of the community they serve.

There will be elections across England in 2019. Whether you have already been selected to stand by the Labour Party, or still thinking about applying, we are keen to hear from you.

Got a question?

Stand as a candidate

Online applications are now open.

Learn about standing

The Co‑operative Party has a growing network of over 700 Councillors across England, Scotland and Wales, and now make up 13% of Labour Councillors in England.

In this May 2019 there's a great opportunity to build on last year’s results, seeing even greater numbers of co‑operators elected to local government.

And as the work being done in places like Preston show, the value they bring can be huge.

Why stand as a Co-operative candidate?

Councillors choose to seek the Co-operative Party nomination for a
number of reasons:

  • Public recognition of co-operative values
  • Support from your local Co-operative Party
  • Part of growing national network of Co-operative Councillor
  • Access to national campaigns and resources
How does selection work?

Under the terms of our electoral agreement with the Labour Party, Co-operative Party council candidates must also be members of, and selected by their local Labour Party in order to stand for election.

 

Who can stand?

The current rules say candidates must have been in membership of the Party for nine months and a member of a a recognised co-operative. 

However, local parties may add additional criteria or choose to waive these rules, particularly if they discourage some candidates such as young people, women and BAME members, or if there have not been local opportunities for members to participate.

Under the terms of our electoral agreement with the Labour Party, Co-operative Party council candidates must also be members of, and selected by their local Labour Party in order to stand for election.

Who decides candidates?

After filling in the online application, approval is then sought from the local Co-operative party council, but many local parties delegate this to their branches. 

If in doubt, check with your party council secretary. 

Standing in a multi-member ward

All the candidates on the ballot paper must have the same description i.e. all ‘Labour’ or all ‘Labour & Co-operative’.

Candidates who have been endorsed as a Co-operative candidate but can’t have it on the ballot paper as their colleagues aren’t Co-operative Party candidates are called ‘supported’ candidates.

Supported candidates can still receive support, and publicly state they are supported by the Co-operative Party, but can’t have the description on the ballot paper. However, they can still refer to themselves as ‘Labour & Co-operative’ if elected.

Financial support

The Party has limited resources, so any financial assistance must be directed to the election of Labour and Co-operative candidates with a clear commitment to support our aims and policies.

The amount of financial support will depend on the budget set aside by the local Party or branch for this election, and how many candidates you approve.

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Co-operative Councillor Local Elections Briefing

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Becoming a co-operative councillor

Case study: community transport

After the private sector withdrew services from Witney in Oxfordshire, Co-operative Councillor Laura Price supported residents to establish a not-for-profit community transport firm, West Oxfordshire Community Transport, to step in and continue vital services.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Public commitment to co-operative values
  • Opportunity to promote co-operative campaigns such as supporting credit unions, local bus services, Fairtrade and the Fair Tax mark.
  • Membership of the Co-operative Councillors Network – which gives access to email briefings, our Facebook group and events.
  • Support from your local Co-operative Party


After filling in the online application, approval is then sought from the local Co-operative party council, but many local parties delegate this to their branches.

Under the terms of our electoral agreement with the Labour Party, Co-operative Party council candidates must also be members of, and selected by their local Labour Party in order to stand for election.

All the candidates on the ballot paper must have the same description i.e. all ‘Labour’ or all ‘Labour & Co-operative’.

Candidates who have been endorsed as a Co-operative candidate but can’t have it on the ballot paper as their colleagues aren’t Co-operative Party candidates are called ‘supported’ candidates.

Supported candidates can still receive support, and publicly state they are supported by the Co-operative Party, but can’t have the description on the ballot paper. However, they can still refer to themselves as ‘Labour & Co-operative’ if elected.

The current rules say candidates must have been in membership of the Party for nine months and a member of a recognised co-operative.

However, local parties may add additional criteria or choose to waive these rules, particularly if they discourage some candidates such as young people, women and BAME members, or if there have not been local opportunities for members to participate.

Under the terms of our electoral agreement with the Labour Party, Co-operative Party council candidates must also be members of, and selected by their local Labour Party in order to stand for election.

The Party has limited resources, so any financial assistance must be directed to the election of Labour and Co-operative candidates with a clear commitment to support our aims and policies.

The amount of financial support will depend on the budget set aside by the local Party or branch for this election, and how many candidates you approve.

Make sure that the money is sent to the local Labour Party election fund, not to the candidate.

 

 

 

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