Becoming a Councillor
Have you thought about standing for election to the Vale of Glamorgan Council?
Do you want to help get things done in your neighbourhood? Are you already active in your community? As a councillor, you can make a difference.
What does a Councillor do?
A councillor's role can take in:
- representing your local ward
- policy and strategy review and development
- overview and scrutiny
- regulatory duties
- community leadership and engagement.
Being a councillor is a rewarding form of public service that puts you in a unique position where you can make decisions about local issues and improve the quality of life for people within the Vale of Glamorgan. It gives you the opportunity to help your local community and be part of a dedicated team providing key services for your area.
If you are thinking of standing, contact your local contact officer (below) and they will be pleased to give you more information. Please would you note, that the next Local Government Elections will take place in May 2017.
Why become a Councillor?
Being an effective councillor requires hard work. The primary role of a councillor is to represent their ward and the people who live in it. [Councillor Role Description] Community leadership is at the heart of modern local government and councils are taking on new responsibilities for working in partnership with other organisations, including the voluntary and community sector, to improve services and the quality of life for citizens. Being a councillor is also a great way to gain political experience and useful skills in public speaking, debating and problem solving.
Councillors are expected to take steps to keep in touch with their communities.
It is assumed that they will, at least on an annual basis, attend community/town council meetings and meetings of local community groups. Councillors may also be chosen to represent the Council on outside bodies (both local and national), which can include a wide range of trusts, associations and committees.
Who can become a councillor?
You can become a councillor if:
- you are over 18 on both polling day and the day of nomination;
- you are a British citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic, the Commonwealth or another member state of the European Union;
- you are on the Register of Electors and your home is in the Vale of Glamorgan (and has been for at least the past 12 months), or you work in the Vale of Glamorgan (and have for at least the past 12 months), or
- you own a property in the Vale of Glamorgan (and have for at least the past 12 months).
The Welsh Government Diversity in Democracy Project aims to increase the diversity of candidates standing for local government elections.
You could be disqualified as a candidate if:
- you are an undischarged bankrupt;
- you have a criminal conviction which carried a prison sentence of 3 months or more in the previous 5 years;
- you work for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, or hold a politically restricted post with another authority.
How much do I need to know?
The main qualifications are an interest in your community and a willingness to learn. Knowledge, experience and confidence will soon follow. You will be offered a comprehensive induction to your role as a councillor and ongoing support and guidance about your personal development.
What expenses can I claim?
Councillors receive an annual basic salary and certain approved duties are eligible for travel and/or subsistence allowances. Some members also receive a senior salary for particular duties they undertake (for example, chairing a committee). In certain circumstances a care allowance is available in respect of such expenses incurred with arranging the care of children or dependents associated with carrying out official business as a member.
See attached information issued by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales (IRPW)
What other support will I get?
To help you carry out your duties you will be able to access advice from staff in Democratic Services as well as advice from the other professional officers of the Council.
Where can I find out more?
To find out more about the role and responsibilities of the councillor please see the related information below or contact the Council as detailed below.
Tel: 01446 709408
email: Democratic Services,
or write to:
Head of Democratic Services,
Directorate of Resources,
Vale of Glamorgan Council,