In deciding whether you have a local connection with its area the council will look at whether you (or anyone in your household):
Live in the area
The council will usually consider that you have a local connection if you have lived in the area for a total of 6 months out of the last 12 months, or 3 years out of the last 5 years. There is however no set period and even if you have not lived in the area for those periods, the council may still consider you to have a local connection if you are clearly settled in the area.
You must have lived in the area by choice in order to have a local connection:
- You may not have a local connection if you have only lived in an area because you have been in prison or detained in a mental health hospital
- You may have a local connection if:
- you were posted in armed forces accommodation in the area
- you are a care leaver and were placed in accommodation in the area. You should also have a local connection with the area that you originally lived in should you want to return there, regardless of how long you have been away
- You are a former asylum seeker and were placed in accommodation in the area under asylum support provided by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), (not accommodation centres).
Have family connections in the area
Councils will usually consider you to have a local connection with an area if you have close family who have lived in the area for at least five years. Close family includes parents, children, brothers or sisters. It may also include other family members if you have a very close relationship (for example if you were brought up by an aunt, uncle or grandparent).
Work in the area
If you work in the area you should be considered to have a local connection with that area. However, if your employment is of a casual nature, it may not be enough to establish a local connection. Employment doesn’t have to be full time and self-employed people can have a local connection if they mainly work in the council’s area.
Have a connection with the area because of special circumstances
You may be able to show you have a local connection because you have special circumstances. For instance, you may need to live in an area to receive specialist health care, or for religious reasons, or perhaps there are strong reasons why you need to return to an area where you were brought up. If you think this is the case, get advice to see whether you could argue that you have a local connection.
You only need to fit into one category in order to have a local connection.