Resources for new councillors

Getting started to getting results

As local authorities across the UK welcome an intake of new councillors, we know they will need to get up to speed quickly on the workings of local government, unfamiliar policy areas and managing the caseload that comes with being an elected representative.

LGIU is here to support everyone across local government, every day.

Whether you had elections this year or are already preparing for the next, LGIU has a wealth of resources for you to draw on. If you are an officer supporting newly elected councillors – or a recently elected councillor yourself, we want to help you hit the ground running, take a deep dive into the issues and develop your training and skills.

You can also sign-up to receive our timely topical updates and to access our full resources library.

Hit the ground running


There’s a lot to take in when you are first elected. We’ve gathered together some resources that will help with the essentials.

Photo by Ron Fung on Unsplash

Guide for new councillors

Becoming a councillor is an exciting time but can also be daunting – you cannot be expected to know everything straight away – councils, even small ones, are complex. This guide is to help in those first days and weeks. Read this guide.

New councillor? Get ready to be cared at loudly

Some insights, inspiration and tips for newly elected members from former councillor John Hart. Read this article.

Local government facts and figures: England

This is your intro to English local government. How does local government work? What is it responsible for? From the number of councillors to who pays – we’ll give you the low-down on all the essentials. Read this page.

New councillor? Be prepared for culture shock

Advice on what to expect from the world of local government after you’ve been elected and the power of saying ‘yes’ to your residents. Read this article.

Local government facts and figures: Scotland

How does local government in Scotland work? This page brings you all the essential information. From the number of councils to the different roles of elected members and staff, we’ll answer your local government questions. Read this page.

Removing barriers for the seldom heard

Councils are here to make lives better for residents. But how can councils and councillors make sure that they consult and engage with everyone in the area? Read this LGIU members briefing.

A deep dive into the issues


The breadth of issues that involve local government is huge. From primers designed to help new councillors get on top of the complexities of local authority services, to policy briefings, research and training – we’ve got the in-depth analysis you need.

Climate action and sustainable development

With the impacts of climate change worsening with every passing year, local authorities hold a vital role in both cutting emissions and in developing more resilient places. Discover more of our work.

Communities and society

Communities are what being a councillor is all about. Everyone who makes the decision to stand for election does it out of a desire to make a positive difference to the lives of people in their community. Discover more of our work.

Culture, sport and tourism

An essential ingredient for place making. How can communities and local government work together to make local life fun and enriching and attract visitors for economic development? Discover more of our work.

Education and children’s services

Local government is responsible for a diverse range of services that have huge implications for the life chances of children and young people. Discover more of our work.


Local government budgets have been under ever increasing pressure for years and the pandemic fallout and cost of living crisis are exacerbating that. New councillors will want to take time to fully understand this complex system. Discover more of our work.

Health and social care

Councillors are often approached by people in their wards, individually or in local forums, for help over social care issues and you will need to develop a good understanding of how the system operates. Discover more of our work.

Housing and planning

Local authorities play an important role in developing healthy, sustainable neighbourhoods and ensuring that there are enough high-quality homes. Discover more of our work.

Welfare and equalities

Local authorities and councillors keep the machinery of everyday life operating, pick up the pieces and support the most vulnerable in our communities. Discover more of our work.

Training and skills


LGIU’s online and in-house training will give new councillors a welcomed skills and knowledge boost as they settle into their roles.

Training for new councillors

We know that the weeks and months following an election can involve many learning curves for new councillors. The LGIU team has put together an extensive range of online training covering the essential skills that will help them be as effective as possible in their new role. Find out more.

Safety first: the GDPR challenge (24 May)

This two-hour online training session will give councillors an overview of the legal data protection requirements that come with their role and an understanding of the key points of the GDPR challenge as it relates to being a councillor. Find out more and book a place.

Bespoke in-house training

We can develop a cost-effective, tailored in-house training programme that works for your council. Speak to us about your requirements and we can put together the right training package for your councillors. Find out more.

Public speaking skills (7 June)

This two-hour online training session will help councillors hone a skill that will be very important as they progress in their local government role. Among other things the session will help them to plan and structure speeches and deal with challenging questions. Find out more and book a place.

Our full training programme

For almost 40 years, LGIU has been responding to the training needs of local government. We run an extensive programme of training throughout the year, covering both the skills and policy topics that councillors need to keep on top of in order to make the most of their role. See our full programme.

Are you an LGIU member?

LGIU was founded in the UK in 1983. Now as  LGIU England & Wales, LGIU Scotland, LGIU Ireland and LGIU Australia, we work for and with local authorities around the world, helping them to serve their local communities more effectively. We provide our members with the mix of insight, ideas and innovation that they need to get the job done and plan for the future. Put simply, we are here supporting local government every day. Find out more about LGIU membership or register for free on our website.

Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay