What can a councillor do for you?
Much of a councillor's time is taken up with working
directly with the residents in their ward. A councillor
may do the following type of work:
- Handle phone calls and letters asking for help and advice
- Receive complaints about local public services and refer them
to the right department so that they can be resolved
- Keep their eyes and ears to the ground in their ward to bring
to the council's attention any problems or improvements which are
- Hold surgeries or take other steps to ensure they are available
to all the ward residents
- Liaise with other public services, such as the police, fire
authority and health services on behalf of ward residents and for
the benefit of the community as a whole.
Many councillors serve on their local school governing body
Parish Council and help in other ways at action groups,
management committees of community associations and village
halls. You can look to your ward councillors to represent
your interests within the council's guidelines.
What is expected of a councillor?
Councillors come into contact with a very wide range of people
and are asked to make decisions about many different local
issues. It is important that they follow high standards of
behaviour and integrity, acting as they do on the public's
behalf. The council's Code of Conduct for members sets clear
guidance for councillors and can be found within the council's
Some key points are:
- Councillors must treat others with respect.
- Councillors must not bring the council into disrepute.
- Councillors must not use their council contacts or knowledge to
secure to themselves or others an improper advantage, or to place
others at a disadvantage.
- Councillors must not act on an issue where they have an obvious
conflict of interest.
All complaints alleging a breach of the code of conduct are
referred to a sub committee of the
standards committee for initial assessment. Councillors
and cabinet members lead the council's policy programme and make
important choices about our services. Others approve (or
licensing applications or hear appeals. Some provide
independent challenge and scrutiny
of cabinet and committee decisions. All 57 councillors together
decide the budget, council tax and major policies.
Under the code of conduct for councillors all members of the
council must disclose any disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs),
in the interests of openness and transparency. They are also
required to disclose the DPIs of their spouse or civil partner, or
person with whom they live as spouse or civil partner if they are
aware that the other person has the interest. In addition they are
required to disclose the interests of any person from whom they
have received a gift or hospitality with an estimated value of at
least £100 (but this is not a DPI).
Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are set out in Part 2 section 8
Members’ Code of Conduct.
Details of all councillor's interests are maintained in a
register kept for the purpose by the council's Governance
Team and available for inspection by members of the
public, and also published on the council's website. See
information pages to see registered interests.
The council has 57 councillors in total, they represent the
following political groups:
- Conservative - 28
- Labour - 11
- Non-aligned Labour Councillor - 1
- Independents - 4
- Liberals - 3
- UKIP - 3
- Liberal Democrats - 4
- Werrington First - 3