Become a Councillor

How to become a Councillor in Gedling

Gedling Borough Council was established in 1974, is home to 116,500 people and covers 120km2  km. It consists of 19 wards represented by 41 councillors. The next elections for Gedling Borough Council will be held on the 2nd May 2019.  Becoming a Councillor can be a challenging but rewarding process. If you are thinking about becoming a councillor and representing your community listed below are a few of the questions you may have.

Why become a Councillor? - There are many reasons why people decide to become a Councillor.

  • You want to be involved in shaping the future of their community, or want to represent the views of local people.
  • You are concerned about their local area or one particular issue about which you want to try and make a difference.
  • You want to pursue your political beliefs.

Who can become a Councillor?

You do not need any specific qualifications to become a Councillor.

You don’t have to belong to a political party.  It is possible to stand for election as an independent candidate, but the majority of people who become Councillors do so as members of a political party.

What do councillors do? - The role of a Councillor can be very varied and it is up to each individual Councillor how they work.

As a decision maker and influencer you will:

  • Attend and participate at meetings of the Council, and any other committees and groups to which you are appointed.
  • Help to make tough decisions on priorities for spending public money.
  • Represent Gedling Borough Council on other organisations to which you are appointed.

As a ward Councillor you will:

  • Deal with issues raised by constituents by correspondence, phone, email and in person.
  • Ensure constituents are aware of decisions that affect them.

As a Community Leader you will:

  • Represent the interests and concerns of all members of the community.
  • Work with local organisations to identify issues, encouraging community action.

As a representative of Gedling Borough Council you have to:

  • Maintain the highest standards of probity and ethics, fulfilling the terms of the Council’s Code of Conduct, and relevant laws and best practice.

What skills do I need?

Councillors don’t need any special or formal qualifications. Knowledge and experience picked up through your personal and professional life are important but there are skills that can help you in your role.

  • communication skills and the ability to engage with the local community, being able to talk to people either individually or in a group
  • problem solving and analytical skills, reading sometimes long and complex reports identifying the key issues.
  • basic IT skills, how to use such email, word process, use the internet and social media to undertake work and keep in touch

How much time will it take?

Dependant on your role within the Council and the number of duties you decide to undertake it could vary from a few hours each week to a few hours each day. You will be a member of at least one committee and attend Council meetings, approximately seven times a year. Most committee meetings are in the evening, starting around 5.30pm.  The people you represent will also have an expectation that you will be available to help them with any issues they raise.

Do I get paid?

There is no salary for being a councillor.  You are, however, paid an allowance, dependent on your role and are reimbursed for any expenses you incur whilst on Council business.

If elected what happens after the election?

All new councillors are invited to a programme of induction events which will explain how the Council operates and your role in meetings and decision making.  In addition if you are part of a political group you may also have access to additional help and support available from more experienced members.

What do I do next?

If you feel this is for you and would like to find out more contact the Democratic Service Team at the Council Elections@gedling.gov.uk or download the Local Government Association step-by-step guide.