The role of a Herefordshire councillor
The councillor's role and responsibilities include:
- Representing the ward for which they are elected
- Developing and reviewing council policy
- Scrutinising decisions taken by the councillors on the executive or cabinet
- Regulatory, quasi-judicial and statutory duties (such as planning and licensing matters)
- Community leadership and engagement
Councillors may choose to hold regular drop-in surgeries. Surgeries are a chance for residents to meet you and discuss their problems or concerns. You may also need to spend time visiting constituents in their homes. On top of this you will be dealing with letters, emails and phone calls from constituents. When dealing with casework or council business you may need to meet with council staff. These meetings, and any visits to council offices, may need to take place during the working day.
There are various roles within the council including:
- Chairperson of the council
- Group leaders
- Committee chairperson
- Leader of the council
- Cabinet member
- Scrutiny member
- Committee member
As a councillor, you are likely to be on one or more committees. Don't worry if you don't have any experience in this area - once elected, you will be provided with an induction and on-going support.
Council meetings are usually held during normal office hours (9am to 5pm), but can also occur in the evening. By law your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off to perform your duties as a councillor. However, it is advisable to discuss your intention to stand for election with your employer before submitting your nomination form.
The minimum attendance expected of councillors is to be at the full Council meeting and any meetings of committees, working groups or outside bodies that you may be appointed to.
The Local Government Association has also produced a guide to becoming a councillor.