Are you interested in representing local people and making a difference to local democracy? If so, read on and help shape the future of Caerphilly county borough.
The role of a councillor
Councillors are the voice of electors and represent local views and interests in the electoral area (division) within which they have been elected to serve.
Community councillors represent the views of the local community for the community ward within which they are elected to serve. Community councillors have a narrower and more specific community role then county borough councillors.
A councillor has various duties to perform:
- A councillor has to attend various meetings and is expected to read the agenda and relevant reports for meetings beforehand. The amount of time a councillor spends going to meetings will depend on the number of committees and panels they are appointed to. Meetings can take place during the day and during the evening and your employer may give you paid time off to attend meetings.
- All 73 councillors attend full council meetings every 6 weeks.
- The Cabinet is responsible for making most of the council's policy decisions and consists of a leader and eight Cabinet members drawn from the 73 councillors elected. Each Cabinet member has a specific portfolio area and their role is to drive forward their part of a Cabinet Work Programme. It is important that everyone has a clear understanding of what the Cabinet has identified as the most important issues, how we intend to tackle them and what we intend to achieve, by when.
- The Cabinet's progress is monitored during the year through Scrutiny Committees and assessment of its' performance will take place at end of the year. Important issues, such as setting the council budget, are made by full council, while some other day-to-day decisions are delegated to senior officers.
- Councillors also have a duty to represent the electors in their ward. Some hold 'surgeries' for residents to come along and discuss issues with them, however, in most cases contact is made by telephone.
Support provided to councillors
Councillors are provided with a range of support to assist them in their role:
- Officers are available to offer support and advice on any issue.
- All councillors are provided with a home computer, providing access to relevant council systems including email to contact officers on council related business.
- Community councillors employ clerks to undertake secretarial duties, control the finances of the community council and control the conduct of meetings. The community or town clerk would look to providing training for their individual communities.
- Following election, all councillors are invited to attend a members induction programme where they learn more about their role and the council, meet the officers who support them and other newly elected councillors. We offer a comprehensive training package to assist Members carry out their responsibilities.
To stand for election you must fulfil the following criteria on the day of nomination: -
- be 18 years of age or over; and
- a UK, EU or Commonwealth Citizen; and
- be registered to vote in the Caerphilly county borough area; or
- have lived or worked in Caerphilly county borough for 1 year.
You are disqualified from holding office as a district councillor if you:
- Work for Caerphilly County Borough Council; (this only applies to becoming a county borough councillors - not community councillors) or
- Hold a politically restricted post in another authority; or
- Are bankrupt; or
- Have served a prison sentence (including suspended sentences) of 3 months or more within the last 5 years; or
- Have been disqualified under legislation relating to illegal or corrupt practices.
If you are thinking of standing as a candidate for a particular political party, then you should first get in touch with that party's local organisation.
Many parties also have a national website, through which you can get information about their organisations in your area.
For more information about the local political parties you can contact:
To stand as a candidate you will need to provide the following: -
- A nomination paper, signed by 10 registered electors of the ward in which they are to stand.
- To stand as a candidate for a registered political party you would also be required to submit a certificate, from the party's nominating officer, authorising your candidacy and use of the party's description and emblem.
- Written consent to your nomination.
All these documents must be submitted to the Returning Officer.