Working with CommunitiesGetting to Know your Community

Working with communities

Getting to Know Your Community

You may have lived or worked in your community or ward for many years, but you may not know all the different groups of people that live there and all their changing challenges.

A good way to familiarise yourself with your ward is to travel around it, looking at roads, pavements, play areas, open spaces and other community facilities. You can report anything that needs fixing like potholes, graffiti or faulty streetlights to the appropriate council department and record the action taken. This can also be a good opportunity to meet informally with your constituents. Some councillors carry out locality walks accompanied by fellow councillors and key council officers so they can make decisions on the spot.

Once you know your ward and what your constituents expect of you, you can then set some priorities and assess how far they are compatible or conflict with the council’s overall priorities for the wider area.

How well do you know your area?

You may have already considered many of these during your campaign, but here are some questions to consider:

  • What percentage of people in your electoral ward are employed?
  • Who are the main local employers in your community? Do people commute elsewhere?
  • Which are the key community groups that you need to contact?
  • What is the demographic make-up of your community?
  • How many people speak Welsh?
  • Do you fully understand what the plans for the community are in this area?
  • What would local people like to change?
  • How will your area change in the future? What will people want in 20 or 30 years’ time?
  • How effective does your community consider the services they receive from the council to be?
  • What were the most recent educational results for the schools in your ward?

Ask officers for any ward information that they keep and look at the information published by Data Cymru.