Local Government elections will take place in May this year. This is your opportunity to stand for election onto your Town Council, as well of course to cast your vote!
WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNITY?
BECOME A LOCAL COUNCILLOR
Calling all residents who are passionate about their community to stand as a town councillor in the local elections in 2019.
Withernsea Town Council will be holding a cheese & wine drop in session on Monday 11th March 2019 from 4pm-8pm at the Meridian Centre for anyone wanting further information on the role & responsibilities of being a Town Councillor.
What do councillors do?
Councillors are the champions of their community and give residents a voice on the decisions the council makes. Becoming a councillor will allow you to make a real difference in your community by engaging with residents, local groups and businesses to find out their needs; making decisions on which services and projects the council should take forward; and getting involved locally to ensure the services are meeting your community’s needs.
How long does it take?
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Local Councillor Census Survey found that councillors put aside, on average, three hours a week for council work. This often includes attending meetings, engaging with residents and speaking on behalf of the council to other bodies.
Could I be a Councillor?
The easy answer is, “almost definitely”. As long as you are:
• British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
• At least 18 years old
• Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election
You can’t be a councillor if you:
• Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, or for another local authority in a political restricted post
• Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
• Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the 5 years before election day
• Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court
If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, you should contact the electoral services department at your local council for advice on 01482 393310, 393312 or 393313.
Councillors are elected to the local council to represent their local community, so they must either live or work in the area. Becoming a councillor is both a rewarding and privileged form of public service. You will be in a position to make a difference to the quality of other people’s daily lives and prospects.
Being an effective councillor requires both commitment and hard work. Councillors have to balance the needs and interests of residents, the political party they represent (if any) and the council. These will all make legitimate demands on a councillor’s time, on top of the demands and needs of their personal and professional lives. Before you consider becoming a councillor you may want to discuss it with your family and friends to make sure they understand what you are taking on. You will need their support as you’ll have to spend some of your spare time on council business.
I don’t think I have the time…
How much time you spend on your duties as a councillor is largely up to you and will depend on the particular commitments you take on.
Your role within the council will determine how much time you spend on council duties. Joining committees or working groups, for example, may increase your workload. You will be expected to attend some council committee meetings, which are often held in the evening so that councillors can attend after work. As with most things in life, what you get back will depend on how much you put in. But remember, the amount of time you give to it is almost entirely up to you.
Why should I become a councillor?
There are many reasons why people decide to become a local councillor. They include:
• wanting to make a difference and be involved in shaping the future of the local community
• being concerned about your local area and wanting to ensure that the community gets the right services
• wanting to represent the views of local people and ensure that community interests are taken into account
• wanting to contribute your business or professional skills
• concerns about one particular issue
• as an extension of what you are already doing through a political party, trade union, charity, voluntary group or school governing body – becoming a councillor can be the next step.
Research tells us that people are most concerned about issues such as crime, health, schools, transport and the environment. Your local council can make a difference on all these issues and many more, and so can you as a local councillor.
There are lots of ways to get involved in your community, perhaps becoming a neighbourhood watch coordinator, a school governor or a magistrate would be more up your street. For more information visit www.gov.uk/government/get-involved#take-part
How do I become a councillor?
Whether you have been selected by a party or are standing as an independent candidate, you must make sure that you are officially nominated as the election date draws nearer. This means getting 10 people to sign your nomination papers (signatories must be registered electors in the ward where you wish to stand). These papers are available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s democratic services department. You must also give your consent in writing to your nomination. All the necessary documents must be submitted 19 working days before the day of the election. For more information on this, contact East Riding of Yorkshire Council Democratic Services on 01482 393310, 393312 or 393313.
Please call in and have a chat, speak to one of your councillors or call the Town Clerk on 01964 614984.
More information is available by email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The election timetable is available on the Town Council’s website www.withernseatowncouncil.co.uk/election-2019 , the Facebook page & on the town council’s noticeboard