The role of a Councillor
Local Councillors are elected at Local Government Elections and they support the needs of people living within their ward and the public interest of everyone across the County Borough. Councillors have regular contact with the general public through Council meetings, telephone calls and surgeries.
As a Councillor you will be expected to:
- Engage with your local community: You will need to understand the needs of your community and provide those who may otherwise be underrepresented with a voice. This can be by opening conversations on social media, having a chat in the high-street or holding a surgery.
- Undertake Casework: This might be resolving a local problem or putting people in touch with the council or other organisations that can help.
- Behave Appropriately: The public needs to feel confident that you are living up to the high standards that they have a right to expect from you. Councillors are bound by a statutory Code of Conduct at all times.
- Attend Council Meetings: There are a number of meetings you will may be required to attend as a councillor including Council; Cabinet; Overview and Scrutiny Committees and Regulatory Committees.
- Represent the authority: Councillors are also appointed to external local bodies such as school governing bodies and local partnerships, either as representatives of the council or as trustees or directors. Some councillors also sit on fire and rescue authorities and national park authorities. Where a councillor is a member of a political party they will also be expected to attend political group meetings, party training and other events.
What support is available?
The people who elect you will have high expectations of their local councillor from the first day of their term, and we will be there to support you from day one.
It can take a while to understand what the council does and your role within it. There are laws, rules, policies and procedures to get to grips with. We understand that this can be daunting and offer an induction programme for new members to familiarise themselves with their role. Ongoing training will be provided according to your needs including IT support, how to chair a meeting or even take part in a radio interview.
Salary & Financial Support
Every councillor will receive a salary in return for the commitment and contribution they make. Councillors also have access to the local government pension scheme.
Councillors who undertake additional responsibilities such as being a cabinet member, committee chair or leader of their political group will receive an additional payment known as a senior salary that is calculated based on the size of the council.
Councillors with young families, caring responsibilities or personal support needs are entitled to additional financial support as well as flexible working arrangements. Councillors are entitled to a contribution towards the cost of care for those they care for, or for their own personal support. In addition, councillors are entitled to paid “family absence” arrangements around maternity, paternity and adoptive parental leave as well as paid “sickness absence”.
Information about all the support available can be found in the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales report which is updated annually.