What is a councillor?
Councillors are elected to the local council to represent the residents in the ward and their local community.
Councillors are expected to be active in their local community and act as the voice of their constituents, raising any local concerns within the Council on a range of matters related to the work of the council. That could be anything from the quality of local parks, to social services for the elderly, to bin collections and road safety. A councillor is a non-paid role and is elected by the people they represent- you! To be eligible, they must live, work or be registered to vote in the area that they represent. They have two main roles:
- To be a point of contact for residents who are reporting an issue that requires council employees to take action, for example smashed glass on a pavement or broken street lights. Your councillor should then make sure that the correct council department is informed of this, and chases them up if it isn’t rectified swiftly.
- To speak and vote on behalf of local residents at various meetings on matters. These meetings range from policy and strategy right up to full council meetings
Just by electing a councillor, you will have done something that will improve your life and make your community a better place to live. Quite often, local elections have a low voter turnout and the winner then does very little during their 4 year term. In May 2021, some wards in Huntingdonshire had a winning margin of just NINE votes, so it really is the case that every vote matters.
How does a councillor improve your life?
Let’s consider an example:
You go for a walk in your neighbourhood and notice that the bins are overflowing and you duly report this to your councillor. Next week, nothing has been done and the bins are still full and starting to smell. A while later, the local childrens playground is vandalised. This time it’s reported, but all that happens is that the broken swings are removed and not replaced. It doesn’t take much inaction from your councillor and where you live can start to get very ragged and any sense of a welcoming community can drift away.
These may seem trivial, but they are precisely why you must use your vote.
When to contact your councillor
- When you have something to report
- If you would like to hear what the current plan is for your area, or have suggestions
Councillors are the voice of their community and have the opportunity to make a significant difference to the lives of residents. They are involved in decision-making through Full Council meetings, regulatory committees and panels and as members on partnership boards. They also influence and determine the development and review of policies and strategies and play a part in the overview and scrutiny function.
Councillors are elected by local people to plan, run, monitor and develop council business. They work to improve the quality of life of people within the district and make decisions about local issues.
Councillors also act as community leaders and work in partnership with other organisations, including the voluntary and community sector, to improve services and quality of life for local residents.
We have a Code of Conduct [PDF] that applies to all of our councillors.
You can contact your councillors to help you if you have a local issue that you want to bring to their attention or are dissatisfied with the council’s Services.
Huntingdonshire District Council
Huntingdonshire District Council can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it. The council needs councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.
Huntingdonshire has a diverse mix of market towns and rural villages. As a district council, we provide a range of services to our residents, including refuse and recycling collection, car parking, leisure facilities, environmental health, planning and conservation, markets, parks and open spaces, elections, housing advice, housing benefit and council tax support as well as business growth support. What matters to you in the district? Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a councillor.
Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing a population of over 176,000 across the district, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.
Local councillors are the elected representatives of Huntingdonshire District Council. They are elected for four years unless they are elected at a by-election, in which case they must stand again at the next normal election for the seat.
Representing people in Huntingdonshire, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action is the most important task that any councillor undertakes. Significantly, it is also often the role that local people value most.