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The role of a councillor: Resources for local government

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Credit: Photo by LanceB on iStock

Curated resources on the rewards and challenges of being a councillor in local government. Examples this week come from the UK, Ireland, and Australia.

Have your own example to share, get in touch!

Resources on the role of councillors.

Resource: A Safety, Health & Wellbeing Guide for Councillors
This Milton Keynes City Council guide offers advice and information for councillors to help them protect and promote their health, wellbeing and safety. Councillors are increasingly subject to abuse both online and in real life, alongside harassment, threats and even violence. This resource provides tips across the main activities of councillors.

Initiative: Councillor shadowing scheme 
Operated by Youth Voice Bucks via Buckinghamshire Council, this scheme sets up young people to shadow their local councillors to provide them with skills, experience and insight into the roles of local representatives. It allows young people to attend council meetings, partake in councillor duties, and engage with career training, and aims to create more active citizens in the process.

Clip: What is a County Councillor?
Ever wondered what a county councillor does? In this video, we explain the role they play in the council, the difference between county, district & borough and parish councillors, along with what the county council does as a whole.

Campaign: Civility and Respect Project
This campaign, launched by the National Association of Local Councils (which represents English parish and town councils) and other stakeholders, aims to put civility and respect at the top of the political agenda and start a culture change across all levels of local government. It features a pledge that councils can make to commit against poor behaviour, bullying, harassment and intimidation.

Article: Record number of women set to contest Irish local elections 2024
See Her Elected is a feminist, community-led, rural Ireland initiative to support women into political life. The programme is managed by Longford Women’s Link and is an initiative between them and 50:50 North West and is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. This LGIU article, from See Her Elected, analyses the current landscape for female local election candidates in Ireland, in the lead-up to the 2024 Irish local elections and highlights how their initiative has created a gateway for women in rural Ireland into local politics.
Report: The journey from citizen to councillor: a report on newly elected councillors in Victoria
This VLGA report offers insight into the experiences of newly-elected councillors, including their reasons for entering politics, standing for their council, their relationship with the local community and with fellow councillors, plus the information they think is needed to work effectively, and the rewards and the challenges of the role
Resource: The Councillor’s Role and Responsibilities
Developed by Moray Council, this webpage tackles the roles, responsibilities and rewards of being a local councillor, ranging from harmonious council relationships to working with constituents and outside bodies.
Toolkit: Debate Not Hate: Campaign Toolkit
This toolkit supports the LGA’s Debate Not Hate campaign, which sets out to tackle the increasing abuse councillors and officers face. It includes several suggested actions and further resources for councillors to use and engage with.

Looking for even more on this topic? Check out our resources for new councillors! Make sure you subscribe to LGIU to never miss out on this essential service for the local government sector everywhere.



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