It could be argued that if only private sector employees and the self employed and / or retired individuals can stand then that in itself would cause a conflict of interest especially when such matters as new commercial buildings and planning permissions are required – cuurently that is the case. Let the electorate decide and be truely democratic, it would also provide a wider knowledge base that would include a lot of younger people who currently cannot stand.
anyone should be able to stand as a councillor once elected, currently there is a political restriction stopping people who work for the council, this can include teachers, dustbin men and women, and even library staff and leisure centre staff.
The public sector employs a large % of the population who also have the skills and ability necessary to serve the community. Councillors sign a 'code of conduct' and if there is any conflict of interest then it must be declared. Remove the political restriction, an important part of a counillors work is grass roots, this would encourage that approach.