Councillors are elected to represent a number of local residents in an area called a ward. In Poole there are 16 wards. The role of a councillor can be very varied and it is up to each individual councillor how they work. Councillors have responsibilities to their ward, to the council and, of course, to the community.
- listen to and represent the views of residents
- make sure services are delivered effectively in their ward
- help out individual members of the public on specific issues known as case work
- try to secure extra resources for their ward
- act on behalf of all the ward's residents, not just the ones that voted
- help form policy
- help develop the council's budget and agree the level of Council Tax
- make or scrutinise decisions
Their role on the council as a whole is to plan, run, monitor and develop council business. Councillors are essential in deciding what is in the public interest in the midst of a range of conflicting issues and views.
A councillor will be a member of the council and could also be on the cabinet, an overview and scrutiny committee or a regulatory committee. They will meet with other councillors from all political groups to debate and approve council business in a formal setting. Most meetings are open to the press and public. There are written rules which govern behaviour and procedures at these meetings and these rules enable councillors to take part effectively.
Page last updated: 17 January 2019