What do local councils do?

As a Councillor you are in a great position to help identify the needs of your community and to deliver projects and initiatives that will help to make your local area a better place to live. Local councils are best placed to identify the needs of the local community and show great imagination in developing ideas to tackle the issues most relevant to their local area. Initiatives across the country vary in size and scope but they all have one thing in common, the well-being of local people.

Local Councillors have three main areas of work:

  1. Decision-making – Through attending meetings and committees with other elected members, Councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.
  2. Monitoring – Councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.
  3. Getting involved locally – As local representatives, Councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations. This often depends on what the Councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available.

Activities are varied and may include:

  • Going to meetings on Outside Bodies that affect the wider community, such as the police, the Highways Authority, schools and colleges
  • Taking up issues on behalf of members of the public, such as making representations to the district or borough council
  • Holding a surgery for residents to bring up issues
  • Meeting with individual residents in their own homes