Working with communities
Advertising your surgery
Case work will often arise from meetings with local people. It is important that people can speak to their local councillor. You need to be easily contactable and very visible. Most councillors have a social media presence. Another way of being accessible and contactable is through surgeries. Typically, this will involve you advertising a place and time when you will be available to meet people to talk about their concerns and what the council is doing.
You could share your surgery with other councillors, or local agencies, or set up your meetings in well used community venues. If you have a large electoral ward, it can be useful to vary your location to make it easier for people to get to you. The accessibility of the venue is an important consideration. Community centres or libraries are accessible, and have adequate facilities such as refreshments, toilets and waiting areas.
You need to make sure that wherever you choose is safe for you. Make sure that there is someone else in the building with you and, although violent behaviour is rare, you might want to consider leaving yourself an exit from your meeting room, having access to an alarm and keeping your mobile phone handy.
Although you can call on people in their homes, think carefully about this approach. remember your personal safety, take advice from officers before you go and take someone with you. Advice on staying safe can be found on the WLGA website, here.