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Becoming a Councillor

Would you like to represent your community and be part of the local Government process?

 If you would like the opportunity to join the District Council, elections take place on a four yearly cycle. The next elections are to be held in May 2015, however, a Council seat can become available during this four-yearly term.

To be a local Councillor you must be

  • At least 18 and a British, Commonwealth or European Union Citizen
  • On the electoral roll for the area or have worked or occupied as owner or tenant any land or premises in the district for at least a year

Why would I want to be a Councillor?

  • To speak on behalf of the local community and help local people
  • To pursue your political beliefs
  • To contribute business or professional skills
  • To shape the future for the local community

What's the role of a Councillor?

There are three main areas of responsibility

  • Representing the people in your area
  • Community leadership
  • Formulating policy and working within budgets

What else I may wish to know

  • The estimated amount of time spent on Council business is 15-20 hours per week, although only a small proportion of this is spent at the Council offices in meetings.
  • Councillors are entitled to receive a basic allowance as well as reimbursements for  travel, subsistence, and for carers. Those with special responsibilities, such as Executive Members are entitled to receive additional allowances.
  • You may require time off work so you should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment.
  • Almost all meetings of the Council take place at the Council offices and start times would be clearly marked on the meeting agenda.
  • You will be provided with an induction pack which includes the basics about the Council and your role as a Councillor. You will attend an induction programme on the Council's services, its priorities, aims, and challenges.
  • Each Councillor will be asked to identify his/her training needs against a core set of competencies following which personal development plans will be produced and training will be targeted to meet any skills gaps identified. Councillors may be asked to attend various conferences and seminars on specific topics.
  • The Member Services team are always willing to provide help and advice. Each Councillor can also be given a 'buddy' to help with those first few months if they so wish.
  • The Council works in partnership with many organisations which provide services to the community. Councillors are appointed to represent the Council on many of these bodies.