This new councillor hub is intended to provide you with all the essential information you may need as a newly elected councillor and is a useful addition to the support and guidance you will receive from your own council.
Many congratulations on being elected as a councillor!
- Video transcript
Congratulations on being elected as a councillor. We want to welcome you to this both personally and from the Local Government Association, and all of us. I really hope that you find it as interesting and as rewarding as I have since I was first elected in 2009.
It’s about being able to make a real difference to your local community and that may be something very very small, I remember one of the first things I did was helped a mother and child sofa-surfing because she was married to a member of the army in Germany and she’d come back to England and they didn’t have a house, and enabling her to get a house so her and her daughter could have stability and go to a local school was fantastic. Some of the other things are background stuff, you know, got very involved in treasury strategy which saved my council substantial sums of money, may be a bit boring, but those sums of money could be spent on front-line services. So all of those things, and everyone can make a difference to someone’s life, and to the council.
We’ve always known that councils are best at delivering at the local level and councillors are leaders of the community, and this pandemic, dreadful though it is, has really shown a spotlight on what councillors and councils can do, and I’ve seen councillors leading their community response, setting up Facebook pages, WhatsApp groups, so those who are shielding could get food, could get their medicines and prescriptions, I’ve seen councils respond in terms of getting those grants out to local businesses, I’ve seen flexibility around how we support businesses as they reopen, and we’ve also seen how to get the message out. It’s very different in Central Bedfordshire, to what it will be in Newcastle or in Redruth or in the West Midlands, you need local solutions and local people delivering for the community.
I would also urge you to participate with the LGA, we do lots of seminars, not surprisingly most of them are now online, that will teach and provide information about different aspects of being a councillor, could be about adult social care, could be about leisure, so there’s a lot of information out there. It’s also a way of networking, you know, one of the best ways of learning is to connect with other councillors who face similar issues to you. It would be very unusual for you to be the first person who’s faced an issue, how much more helpful if you’re able to connect with a fellow councillor in a different place who’s had the same issue or the same problem.
Thank you for becoming a councillor, it’s a really important job and I wish you the best of luck in your job, that you can do the upmost you can for your residents, and you can rely on the LGA to be there to support you, so please do use the resources that we have and do engage with the Local Government Association. [END]
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of local government. From the outset, the LGA has consistently made the case for local action and leadership and we ensured that Government heard why it was so important that councils had a leading role in responding to the pandemic. We have worked with councils to demonstrate to Government that where local councils can lead, there are better outcomes for our residents.
The LGA are a politically-led, cross-party organisation that works on behalf of councils to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government. We aim to influence and set the political agenda on the issues that matter to councils so they are able to deliver local solutions to national problems. We provide a range of practical support to enable local authorities to exploit the opportunities that this approach to improvement provides.
In 2020 we rapidly refocused our sector-led improvement offer. This includes an expanded financial resilience programme, revamped remote peer support and extensive leadership programmes focused on supporting members during these challenging times. We are working closely with councils to ensure that we continue to deliver the support that you need, which will be reflected in the sector-led improvement offer for 2021/22.
You can read more about this support through the links available in this hub below and how you can join us at our National New Councillor Welcome Events in June 2021.