This is the role profile of all councillors including those with additional responsibilities.


The purpose of councillors is to:

  • effectively represent the interests of their constituents and ward, taking into consideration the needs and wellbeing of all residents
  • provide community leadership
  • sit on a range of member level bodies as well as council meetings, and assist in reaching informed and balanced decisions, in line with the Council Plan

Key duties and responsibilities

The key duties and responsibilities of councillors are to:

  • communicate with and represent constituents and local organisations in a fair and impartial way, undertaking enquires and empowering them to be self reliant. This includes prioritising people with greatest need and those who may be struggling or vulnerable
  • provide a link between the council and community by engaging and liaising with key stake holders including resident’s associations, local businesses, community organisations, police and health authorities
  • represent the council (subject to appointment) on outside bodies
  • contribute actively to the scrutiny of the council’s policies, strategies, budget, and service delivery and to make sure that principles of equality, fairness and value for money are integral to all actions and policies of the council. All councillors should be aware of the process for calling-in an executive decision or key decision by officers
  • develop and maintain a working knowledge of the council’s services, management arrangements, powers, duties and constraints
  • develop and maintain a working knowledge of other organisations and services within the borough
  • develop good working relationships with council officers
  • participate actively and effectively as a member of an overview and scrutiny, regulatory or other committee, panel or group to which the councillor is appointed
  • adhere to the highest standard of conduct and ethics, in keeping with the best interests of the council at all times
  • find a substitute for a meeting for which substitution is permissible, when personal attendance is not possible and to brief the substitute on the meeting to be attended
  • participate in opportunities for training and development provided for councillors by the council

Key skills

The required key skills of councillors include:

  • community leadership skills including managing ward and case work
  • ability to engage proactively with the community, canvassing opinion and seeking new ways of representing others
  • ability to communicate effectively with a range of people by being approachable, empathetic, understanding and encouraging trust
  • ability to work effectively with Council Officers and outside organisations
  • ability to chair meetings in the community and facilitate discussions
  • ability to lead and champion the interests of the local community
  • ability to be objective, rigorous and resilient in challenging process, decisions and people
  • ability to analyse and assimilate complex information, taking account of the wider strategic context to solve problems
  • ability to use ICT to support their role
  • active listening and questioning skills
  • effective presentation and public speaking skills


A councillor should have the following knowledge:

  • a basic understanding of local government finance and audit processes and the ability to interpret council budgets and accounts
  • an understanding of diversity and equalities issues
  • an understanding of the legislation relating to the duties, obligations and rights of councillors
  • an understanding of how the council works
  • an understanding of the councillor's code of conduct, including ethics and standards
  • knowledge of issues affecting local government
  • knowledge of the councils strategic priorities and key policies
  • political knowledge and awareness
  • detailed knowledge of local issues and needs
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