Resources for new councillors

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Getting started to getting results

Councillors who are newly elected in May will be eager to get stuck into the day-to-day business of being a councillor. But local government is complex, so LGIU has support and information and training for new councillors across a wide range of unfamiliar policy areas to help develop the skills that will boost their effectiveness.

If you are a recently elected councillor or an officer supporting them, we want to help you hit the ground running, develop your training and skills and take a deep dive into the issues.

By signing up on the website today, newly elected councillors at LGIU member councils can have instant access to all LGIU member-only resources.

If you’re not with a member council, you will still find plenty to inspire you on this page and across the website. You can sign up too, and receive a free weekly newsletter.

Welcome to the LGIU: we're here to to support you

Both now as a brand new councillor and later when you’ve become an old hand, LGIU is here to support you to deliver for your local residents. LGIU Chief Executive Jonathan Carr-West explains how.

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.

Local government facts and figures

How many councils are there? What do councillors do? How are local services funded? We have put together some interesting facts and figures about the structure, responsibilities and roles of local government and elected representatives in our four membership countries. 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.

Training and skills

LGIU Training will give new councillors a skills and knowledge boost as they settle into their roles. LGIU members receive a 25% discount on all bookings.

Newly elected councillor essentials (24 Sep)

Join other newly elected councillors from up and down the country as we explore the essential knowledge and skills you will need to excel in your new role. This FREE workshop is exclusively for LGIU members. Book a place.

Courses for councillors

From chairing to project management to how to do scrutiny effectively, LGIU courses for councillors will equip you with the skills you need to have maximum impact in your role and do your very best for your residents. Find out more.

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.

A deep dive into the issues

The breadth of issues that involve local government is huge. From backgrounders designed to help new councillors get on top of the complexities of local authority services, to policy briefings, research and training – we’ve got you covered with these essential reading collections.

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.

LGIU & CCLA Cllr Awards

Is there a councillor who inspired you to stand for election? Why not nominate them for an LGIU&CCLA Cllr Award? We’d love to hear about what makes them so special. Find out more about the awards and submit a nomination.

Supporting local government every day

LGIU exists to make local democracy around the world collectively stronger, through shared ideas, resources and connections. So local government is empowered to tackle the biggest challenges we’re all facing, today and in the future.

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