Whether you are a long-time Councillor or have just been elected, you'll find useful campaign ideas, resources and information about being a Co-operative councillor here.
Since 1927, the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party electoral agreement means you can stand for both parties at the ballot box. We already have over 1,300 Labour & Co-operative Councillors putting our values of self-help, equality and solidarity into action.
To become a Co-operative Councillor, you will need to join our Candidate Development Programme. You can read the most frequently asked questions about that process and find the application form below.
Under the terms of our electoral agreement with the Labour Party, candidates are able to stand for both the Labour & Co-operative Party at elections. The majority of councils in the country now have Labour & Co-operative Councillors, who have secured the nomination of both parties to stand in a particular area.
Join our Candidate Development Programme! Here's how it works.
Step 1: Join the programme
Whether you are just thinking about standing for council, or have already been selected, everyone needs to join the Candidate Development Programme in order to get the Co-operative Party nomination.
Step 2: Take Part
The programme provides training and support throughout your journey from finding out what being a Councillor is all about, to how to run your campaign. None of it is mandatory, but it aims to help you on your journey.
Step 3: Get the Co-operative Party Nomination
As part of the programme, if you are put on the Labour Party Panel or selected for a Labour seat or then your details will be forwarded to your local Co-operative Party who make the decision about whether to endorse you. If endorsed, you can officially call yourself a Labour & Co-operative Candidate, you can appear on the ballot paper as:
and if elected, be officially known as a Labour & Co-operative Councillor.
Step 4: Get your nomination papers in
Nearer to the election we will send you a pack, which if relevant will include your certificate to stand as a Co-operative Party candidate. The only difference in paperwork, when standing for the Co-operative Party is you put in two certificates with your nomination papers instead of one, and put your description as 'Labour & Co-operative'
Every Co-operative Party member is eligible to join the development programme, but in order to progress to be a Co-operative Party candidate, 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 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 candidates must also be members of, and selected by their local Labour Party in order to stand for election.
As part of the programme, if selected for the Labour Party Panel or selected for a Labour seat then your details will be forward to your local Co-operative Party who make the decision about whether to endorse you. The national party will inform you of this decision by email and whether you can officially stand as a Labour & Co-operative Party candidate
The best thing is to sign them up to be Co-operative too! But if not, under our electoral agreement all the candidates on the ballot paper in a multi-member ward 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. Also, they can still refer to themselves as ‘Labour & Co-operative’ if elected.
There are many good reasons but many candidates join our programme for :
Our candidate programme includes a variety of training events, support materials and more in order to help you get elected and deliver for your community.
Endorsement as a Labour & Co-operative candidate is separate to any decision about funding. 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.
Whether you have been selected already or thinking about putting yourself forward, join our Co-operative Candidate Development Programme and start your journey to representing the Co-operative Party.
Get inspired and bring co-operative policies into your manifesto.
Apply now to join the Candidate Development Programme.
Already part of the programme? Get our latest updates and event invites!
Download our joint logo and other materials to help with your campaign.