Be a Councillor

Become a District or Parish Councillor and you could be just the person to make a difference in your community.

You don't need special skills or experience, as training is available to help you develop new skills.

Eligibility

You do not have to belong to a political party to stand for election, however, you do have to be:

  • Aged 18 or older
  • A British citizen, or a citizen of the Irish Republic or a relevant citizen of the European Union
  • On the Electoral Register for the area or have, during the previous 12 months, lived or worked in the area

What do Councillors do?

Councillors, or Members, are elected by local people to plan, run, monitor and develop Council business.

This includes taking part in partnerships with others to do this. Councillors work to improve the quality of life for people within Blaby District and make decisions about local and district issues.

Councillors are essential in deciding what is in the public interest amidst a range of conflicting issues and views.

Councillors usually represent a political party. However, they can be independent. All Councillors represent all the citizens of Blaby District, including taxpayers and customers of the Council's services.

The role of Councillor can be very varied and it is up to each individual Councillor how they work. However, the three main areas of responsibility are:

  • Representing the people in their area (ward) and becoming a representative of Blaby District
  • Community Leadership
  • Formulating policy

A Councillor's Role

Most Councillors see their first and foremost role as representing their ward and the people who live there. To do this they may:

  • Hold "drop in surgeries" normally in community centres
  • Deal with constituent enquiries about aspects of Council business
  • Undertake case work such as representing an individual or a family at special appeals
  • Support local partnerships
  • Win resources for their ward
  • Listen to the needs of local people when considering policy proposals and in decision making

We work in partnership with many local bodies and Councillors serve on these local forums on behalf of the Council.

Councillors exercise community leadership by:

  • Representing the Council and constituents on local management boards, school governor committees or local partnership panels
  • Participating in the activities of any outside body to which they are appointed and reporting back to the Council
  • Developing a working knowledge of the organisations services, activities and other factors important to the community's well being and identity

All Councillors are involved in decision making. Councillors, as Members of Council and Scrutiny Committees, meet with Councillor colleagues from all political and other groups, to debate and approve Council business in a formal setting.

Councillors can influence local policies through:

  • Their role on full Council
  • For some, through membership of the Cabinet
  • Their role on committees which both scrutinise the work of the Cabinet and recommend policy developments
  • Their role as employers of staff, on appointment panels, disciplinary and grievance appeals 
  • Membership of management boards of voluntary bodies
  • Undertaking casework

Find out more about becoming Councillor by visiting the Be a Councillor website, or the local association for Parish and Town Councils.

Last updated 1 July 2019
Do you need to get in touch with us? Use our contact form.
A to Z of Council Services