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How to become a Councillor

avg. starting salary

Good at problem solving? Excellent interpersonal skills? Don’t mind working to someone else’s agenda? You should become a Councillor… A Councillor is an elected member of a local government council, who represents a community of people. Their job is to maintain a harmonious atmosphere by considering the needs and interests of everyone in their local area, whilst accurately representing the community’s interests and political standpoint (if they have one). The types of authorities they’re involved in vary from unitary authorities, to counties, districts, parishes, towns, and community councils. A Councillor’s duties will differ dependent on their specific field and level, but they’re typically responsible for:
  • Services such as recycling, road systems, education, and community safety
  • Community leadership and engagement
  • Keeping up-to-date with significant developments within the local area
  • Representing the views of the community when working with outside bodies
  • Attending meetings about current issues and providing insights
  • Participating in the governance and management of the council

Excellent communication skills, as well as the ability to be a decisive thinker when put under pressure, are absolutely essential for anyone looking to become a Councillor. Effectively, you’re the official representative of your community – without a passion for your work, and the ability to engage effectively with people from all walks of life, you’re unlikely to go far in this position. However, being a Councillor isn’t necessarily a full-time positon, and although you’ll be expected to attend council committee meetings, the role is extremely flexible and can be done alongside another job. Other skills and qualities required to become a Councillor include:
  • The ability to work well in a team
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Organisational and planning skills
  • Empathy
  • Dedication
  • An understanding of housing, regeneration, and environmental issues

"Representing my community as a local Councillor is inspiring, and it’s often as easy as simply giving people a voice and listening to it. At the forefront of council business, I have the opportunity to improve the lives of people around me, and I feel like I really get to understand what the community as a whole wants and needs. Since being elected, I’ve implemented road clean ups, enhanced recycling measures, and also decreased anti-social behaviour in my area. Although they’re only small changes, sometimes it’s these little things that mean the most to people’s lives."

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