Welcome to Your New RoleTips from Serving Councillors

Welcome to your new role

Tips from Serving Councillors

“Expect to be daunted and don’t expect to change the world. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, we all do, you will learn from them.”

“Ask for a mentor, they won’t tell you how to do your job, but they can certainly help you find out how everything works!”

“Remember that councillors from across the political divide also want to make a positive difference in their communities.”

“Get organised! Try to go paperless, it’s easier to organise yourself and better for the environment!”

“Get your IT sorted and make sure you have the equipment and connectivity you need!”

“Practice joining online meetings before they officially start, you’ll need to know how to take part and to check that everything works.”

“Find out how you are to conduct yourself in a Full Council meeting, it is very formal and if you don’t know what you are doing it can get pretty scary.”

“Find out which officers can help with what, get a directory of responsible officers – it’ll save a lot of time.”

“Make sure that you set boundaries for how to be contacted, put a message on your social media so that people know how and when to contact you.”

“If you are interested in a role on a particular committee or being a chair, ask your group leader about how to do this.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask officers questions – that’s what they are there for.”

“Don’t say something on Twitter or Facebook as a councillor that you wouldn’t be prepared to tell the world!”

“Be prepared for meetings – read your agenda and papers and know how you intend to contribute.”

“Check council and committee agendas for issues that might affect your ward.”

“Learn to listen to people in your ward, you can get a real sense of what’s happening as well as what needs to be done.”

“Go to all the induction and training sessions, and if it doesn’t make sense ask!”

“Treat the officers with respect and understand the constraints they have to work within, polite persistence really pays off and a smile and a thank you costs nothing!”