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 from day one. 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 to 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, take a deep dive into the issues and develop your training and skills.

Newly elected councillors at LGIU member councils can have instant access to all LGIU resources by signing up on the website today.

If you’re not with a member council, you will still find plenty to inspire you on this page and you can sign up too and receive a free weekly newsletter plus access to a limited amount of local government content.

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

LGIU is here for you

Whether you’re a brand new councillor or an old hand, LGIU is here to support you to deliver for your local residents. LGIU Chief Executive Jonathan Carr-West explains how new councillors can start benefitting from LGIU now. Read this welcome.

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? Get ready to be cared at loudly

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Build your own curriculum

LGIU’s build your own curriculum lets you mix and match courses to best suit your needs. Want an intro to local government finance and some ideas on managing casework? We’ve got you covered. Or you can choose one of our suggested course pathways. 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.

Our full training programme

For 40 years, LGIU has been responding to the training needs of local government. We run an extensive programme of training throughout the year for both councillors and staff. See our full programme.

Make a difference as a councillor

This workshop will help you make an impact right from the start. You’ll get invaluable advice, tips and ideas from an experienced councillor and a former democratic services officer and outcomes will include an understanding your rights and responsibilities, advice on building relationships within the council and with key partners and setting and monitoring your objectives. Find out more and book a place.

Shape and share your message

Communication and engagement are hugely important as a councillor. This workshop will help you craft and deliver the messages and communications you need and reach your chosen audiences. Find out more and book a place.

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.

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