Website URL : http://wsx-donnington-pc.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=16822

Get involved! Become a councillor

Introduction

Have you ever thought about becoming a councillor? The local elections for the district and parish councils will take place on Thursday 5 May. If you care about the area where you live and the issues facing the people who live there, then becoming a councillor could be the role for you. The closing date for nominations is midday on Monday 4 April 2011. Nomination forms are available from the council.


Nomination documents can be picked up from the council's Elections Office at East Pallant House. You can call 01243 521010 or email elections@chichester.gov.uk to have them sent to you.

The role of a councillor isn't a 9am to 5pm job. You can do most of it at a time that suits you. It can fit around other commitments – from full-time work, to caring for young children – and allows you to make a valuable contribution to your community. But it does require commitment and hard work.

You don't have to be a member of a political party. However, if you want to stand as a political party candidate you need to contact your local party office and take part in their selection procedure.

You will:

  • make sure that taxpayers money is spent wisely.
  • make sure people get the services they need.
  • check that people are receiving quality services that are value for money.
  • make sure that everyone gets treated fairly.
  • support local businesses.
  • look after the local environment and help to protect it from climate change.
  • find places to build homes and help people to find housing they can afford.
  • encourage people to have healthy lifestyles.
  • promote the area and what it has to offer.
  • help vulnerable people to get back on their feet and live independently.

You should:

  • be a good listener;
  • be good at problem solving;
  • be good at working in a team;
  • be able and willing to use email, the internet and Microsoft office;
  • have good organisational skills; and
  • be able to get your local community involved and keep them informed.

You might also have skills and knowledge gained from professional experience or working with other groups.

Don't worry if you don't yet have some of the skills listed. We provide you with the support, information and training you need.

You will get:

  • the opportunity to make a difference in your community;
  • the chance to specialise in particular areas;
  • to meet and work with people from across the district;
  • the flexibility to work hours that suit you;
  • excellent training that will further develop your skills; and,
  • a basic allowance, currently £3,900, plus expenses.

To become a councillor you need to be 18 or over; a citizen within Britain, Ireland or the European Union; and live, work or own a property in the district.

There a few things that prevent you from becoming a councillor. These include working for the council you wish to represent, having a politically restricted post in another council, serving a prison sentence in the past five years, or disqualification under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices.

To find out more please contact Member Services at Chichester District Council on 01243 534655 or see www.chichester.gov.uk/becomeacouncillor.