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Friday, 15 June 2012

43. The Six Roles of the Local Councillor

I recently came across a leaflet that I was involved in producing for the Council a good few years ago.  The aim was to explain to the public what councillors do by highlighting six different roles.

There are a number ways of doing this - I'm not claiming that this is the definitive version, although we did try to take the best of what others had done at the time. 

Looking at it now I think it would be interesting to apply these roles in the context of social media - something that wasn't really around when this was made.

Anyhow, I thought it would be worth sharing so here is the text from the leaflet.  You might want to credit the City and County of Swansea if you use it.


Local Councillors - What Can We Do For You?

Decision Maker
Your Councillor makes decisions about how Council services are run and may also be a decision maker for your local school, your community partnership or your community centre.

If you feel strongly about something that affects you, then you should let your Councillor know – they can make sure that your views are represented.

Community Volunteer
Your Councillor is likely to be involved in local community activities, projects and groups, giving advice, organising support and making sure that things are happening for old and young alike.

If you want to get involved in your community let your Councillor know – they can help you arrange some volunteering.

Your Councillor will know a lot about the services offered by the Council and by other agencies. They can explain why things are done, the way they are done, and why decisions have been made.

If you have something that needs sorting out or you need some advice and you are not sure who to contact ask your Councillor – even if they don’t know they will probably know someone who does!

Your Councillor keeps an eye out to ensure that local services are provided properly and that any problems are reported and sorted whether it’s faulty street lights, potholes, graffiti or abandoned cars.  Councillors also have a wider scrutiny role which means that they can look at city wide issues and come up with solutions.

If you spot something that needs sorting out in your community let your Councillor know, it might be part of a wider issue.

Your Councillor sometimes deals with complex disputes that people have with the Council or with other agencies by providing confidential advice, suggesting solutions, and, in some cases, representing people at meetings and through letters.  They may also hold regular local surgeries where you can discuss your concerns.

If you have a complaint or a dispute with the Council or other agency and you don’t feel confident about dealing with it yourself, let your Councillor know – they may be able to help.

Your Councillor may be involved in campaigning for changes in your community or city wide, in charities and in voluntary groups.

If you are interested in starting a campaign then contact your Councillor – they can give you advice and maybe even some support.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information- if it's OK Im copying to our local residents website

Roger said...

Excellent document, I personally cannot see a thing that needs changing, in the name of updating. I would not wish to see it fall in to the hands of anybody who want to update it with local government speak (Localism).
Given that it has an acknowledgement re the illustrations, Lescartoons, do we need to get a formal okay from somebody before adapting it for use at my council, or will a text box next to the City and County of Swansea logo be sufficient for the owners of this leaflet? Many thanks.

Dave Mckenna said...

Thank you both.

No problem with sharing as long as the source is acknowledged. If you want to use the illustrations you will need to contact the illustrator. His website is http://www.lescartoons.net/


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