Do you know what your local councillor does? Do you know who they are? Many don’t. The majority of voters in the UK casting their ballots will do so not knowing any of the candidates. There is nationally a “real disconnection” between residents of local communities and those representing them.
What do they do?
Councillors are ordinary people who are elected to the local council to represent their community. They must either live or work in the borough area. They are in a position to make a difference to the quality of other people’s daily lives and prospects within their ward.
They work for the needs and interests of residents, (their political party, if any) and the council. There are 1,861 councillors across London representing 7.5 million residents.
A councillor’s role and responsibilities include:
- representing the ward they are elected in local decision-making
- developing and reviewing council policy on a range of issues
- scrutinising the decisions taken by the councillors on the executive
- regulatory duties
- community leadership and engagement
Councillors hold local drop-in surgeries each month. Surgeries are a chance for residents to meet and discuss their problems or concerns face to face. On top of this they will also deal with letters, emails and phone calls from constituents.
A local Councillors role is to
- make a difference and be involved in shaping the future of the local community
- being concerned about the area in which they live and wanting to ensure that their local community gets the services needed
- wanting to represent the views of local people and ensure that local community interests are taken into account
- concerns about one particular issue, for example care for older people, the lack of facilities in an area, or traffic congestion