As a councillor you will need to:
- Listen and be a voice for your community. The single most important task for a town councillor is to listen to the views of the people in their community. By doing this, councillors gain important information about the concerns and aspirations of the people they represent. It is for this reason that many public bodies turn to the Town Council for information about the services they provide. For example, Dorset Council consults the local Parish and Town Councils on planning applications which affect their area. Local Councils act as a voice for their communities, responding to other authorities and drawing attention to issues which concern the community.
- Act as an ambassador for your community. Town councillors act as ambassadors for their community, keeping everyone aware of local needs and concerns and reporting back on county and regional matters. Councillors represent the voice of their community as a whole, whilst being aware of, and considerate to specific minority needs. Councillors make representations at other local government meetings (such as Dorset Council). They are appointed to sit on local bodies/ organisations whose work affects the community. Some may be asked to serve on certain groups or attend functions on behalf of the Council.
- Attend meetings. When elected, Councillors agree to attend meetings, and these are normally held in public. Bridport Town Council meets in full session six times a year, and it operates a number of committees, sub-committees and working groups. Councillors decide which committees they want to be members of (although the numbers are limited so you’re not guaranteed a place!).
- Attend ceremonial functions. There will be times when councillors are asked to attend civic functions as part of their duty to the community. This may be Remembrance Services, civic receptions and attendance at community events throughout the year. Your fellow councillors will be there to give you the benefit of their experiences.
- Volunteer to help with the Council’s work. As the Town Council is relatively small and employs a limited number of staff, councillors are sometimes asked to help when staging events. As well as helping to deliver services, this provides another way for councillors to engage with the local community – and it shows residents your commitment to the town!