I do hope that during your time as a councillor, you will gain a new perspective on the vital work that councils do in improving the lives of those in our communities. This has been a challenging time for councils, with less money and higher demand for our services.
Despite this, it’s still an exciting time to play your part in local government, as our regular polling shows that local councils and councillors are the most trusted to take decisions about their local areas.
Top tips from the town hall
“Always respond to your residents’ issues promptly, keep them informed and ensure you get out in your community to let them know what you can do for them.”
Cllr Mike Bush (Ind),
Tendring District Council
“Say yes: positions are always coming up on committees, panels and task groups. Your fresh ideas might be exactly what are needed.”
Cllr Kelly Braund (Lab),
London Borough of Merton
“For at least six months you will feel like you don’t know anything. Democratic services were a lifeline during that time.”
Cllr Philippa Hart (Lib Dem),
South Cambridgeshire District Council
“Involve your family and friends. This might include bringing them to community activities such as litter picks and fun days.”
Cllr James Hill (Con),
Northampton Borough Council
We are all working to ensure that the 2019 Spending Review provides the sustainable financial settlement we need so that local government can continue to deliver for our residents.
At its best, local government gives the strong and ambitious leadership that ensures the nation remains fit and well, economically resilient and continues to thrive. We achieve this through the 1,300 different statutory duties and responsibilities councils offer to residents, who hold us to account via the ballot box. These duties include caring for the elderly and disabled, building homes, keeping our green spaces pristine, repairing our roads, waste and recycling collection; the list goes on.
Through your work as councillors, you can make the lives of your residents better. And we are your voice, the local voice to national government, working hard to make your case so you can deliver the best possible public services. Secretaries of state and ministers, MPs and Peers, Westminster and Whitehall, rely on us to present your views to them as they decide on the course of the ship of state. You will be able to get involved in this work, to help shape the landscape of local government for the future.
The LGA is also a resource to help you carry out the role to the best of your ability. Our ‘Guidance for new councillors 2019/20’ outlines just some of the services that we provide. With more than 400 councils in membership across England and Wales, the LGA provides a vast network to share best practice and help support you in your work. I wish you the best of luck in your term in office.