Laura Sharman 18 November 2013

The role of a local government councillor

The role of a local government councillor image

What does a local government councillor do?

Councils are made up of members – called councillors - who together represent the people in their jurisdiction. Councillors are directly elected to represent the people and therefore have to consider not just the interests of their local electorate, but those throughout the whole area to create a harmonious local environment.

Every service provided by a council is managed in their name. Members of the councils have a complex role and must act in a number of capacities: as committee member, constituency representative and party activist.

Councillors have personal, individual and collective responsibilities for their council’s activities. In addition, as members of political groups or as independents, councillors will express political values and support the policies of the group to which they belong. Individual councillors do not have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the entire council.

Councillors who are committee chairs or portfolio holders have more specialised roles in promoting particular policies, representing the council while at the same time working with other agencies to tackle issues such as housing, social services, schools, the environment and transport.

Each council is different and each councillor - whether a member of a town, parish, district or county council - will perform a slightly different role.

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Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The December issue of Local Government News looks at the consequences a council may face if it is unable to provide statutory services, the launch of Liverpool’s housing company and how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

It also has a special section on green building and energy efficiency including what funding is available to enable councils to deliver heat networks and how councils can pay for ‘smart buildings’.

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