Be a councillor – Co-operative Party

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. The response of Co-op Councillors during Covid-19 is no exception.

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.

Local, Mayoral as well as Police and Crime Commissioner elections for 2020, have been postponed. There will be local elections in 2021 and you can still apply online to stand as a Co-operative Party candidate, though these won't be confirmed till later in the year.

Got a question?

Candidate Registration

You can still apply to be a candidate for the local elections in 2021.

Stand as a candidate

If you want to find out more about standing as a Co-operative candidate in the future, check our guide below.

Learn about standing

The Co‑operative Party has a growing network of over 800 Councillors across England, Scotland and Wales, and now make up 14% of Labour Councillors in England.

In May 2021 we hope to see even greater numbers of co‑operators elected to local government at this crucial time.

Whether you have already been selected for the postponed elections, or are thinking about standing next year, now is the time to find out more and join our movement.

 

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 some local parties delegate this to their branches. 

If in doubt, check with your party council secretary. 

Applications are still being accepted, though there maybe a delay in getting approval. 

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.

LocalElectionsBriefing2020

Local Elections Briefing – 2020

thumbnail of Be a councillor -FINAL – WEB

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.

There is a government fund which provides support for the additional financial costs associated with a disability or health condition. More information is available here : www.disabilityrightsuk.org/enablefund

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