Why become a Councillor?
Do you want to help local people and be a key figure of the local community?
Do you want to be a representative of your local community and be the voice of the people?
Do you have professional, business or personal skills that could be beneficial for working in a team and that can help your local community?
As a Councillor you would achieve this and you could make a difference. All you need to do is stand for election as a local Councillor and then maybe you could begin a job that is both very challenging, but also incredibly rewarding.
In order to achieve a successful Council it requires a well suited team of Councillors who offer a wide range of skills, talents and interests who can best reflect the local community as a whole. Being a Councillor means you will be in a position where you can make a variety of decisions about local issues and help influence future development within the local area.
What is the role of a Councillor?
The role of a Councillor is very unique and dependant on the Councillor themselves,
however they must try:
- To be a representative for residents and bring local thoughts and ideas into the Councils decision making process.
- Respond to resident’s enquiries and opinions.
- Through attending meetings and committees they must decide on policy implementation, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what activities to support.
- To monitor their decisions in order to deliver the most effective and efficient services through a greater understanding of how they are working in practice.
All this requires a lot of hard work and dedication, however if successful, the job can be very fulfilling and satisfying.
As a representative of the local community they must have good communication with the local residents, but also with the other Council Members . To do this they must attend council meetings, as well as Local Community Group Meetings, whilst keeping in contact with the local residents. Councillors are also chosen to represent both local and national interests, associations and committees.
Who can become a Councillor?
Almost everyone can become a Councillor as long as they:
- Are 18 years or over.
- Are a British Citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or of the European Union.
- Do not work at the Council that they wish to stand for.
- Don’t work on a politically restrictive post.
- Are not subject to a bankruptcy restriction order.
- Have not served a prison sentence of three months or more within a five-year period of the election.
- Have not been disqualified under any legislation relating to corruption or illegal practices.
How much time will I need?
Councillors have to be able to manage their time to be successful. Many Councillors have to manage a full time career along with their job as a Councillor. Many of the meetings set by the Council are in the evenings, however some are held during the working day. This means that the employer must have a good understanding of your role as a Councillor and your responsibilities that go along with it.
Your work as a Councillor will vary from anywhere between 3 hours a week to several hours a day. This will also depend on your role within the Council as those with an executive or a chairing role will have a greater work load.
For more information on being a Councillor, follow the link to The Good Councillor Guide