Have you ever thought about representing your local area as a district councillor?
East Suffolk Council is holding two events – one at each end of the district – for people to learn more about doing just that.
The ‘Be A Councillor’ events are designed for potential new councillors, or anyone interested in finding out more about what being a councillor involves.
The events are non-party political, with the East Suffolk Council leader, Steve Gallant giving an overview of the organisation and its functions, and with further information available about the general requirements and responsibilities of a councillor.
Labour group leader, Peter Byatt will also be joined by Liberal Democrat and Independent group leader, David Beavan, in explaining more about their roles and obligations of being a councillor.
The first Be A Councillor event is set to take place from 6pm on Tuesday 8 November at East Suffolk House, in Melton, with a second event scheduled for 6pm on Monday 14 November at East Suffolk Council’s Riverside building, in Lowestoft.
Cllr Gallant, who was elected Conservative councillor for Eastern Felixstowe in 2015, and four years later became leader of East Suffolk Council, said:
“I am really looking forward to attending these events and meeting prospective new councillors,” he said.
“Councillors come from all walks of life and there are obvious benefits for society from attracting as wide a demographic as possible in order to encourage greater democratic participation.
“And becoming a councillor has many benefits of its own. While it does require commitment and hard work, it can also be extremely rewarding to make a difference to the quality of other people’s lives and bring about positive change.
“We are a modern and forward-thinking local authority. We value the importance of councillors understanding important local issues and appreciating those more strategic issues affecting the wider area.
“If you are passionate about making a difference to the lives of local people, then you may be ideally suited to a role as East Suffolk councillor.”
A councillor’s responsibilities include representing the ward for which they are elected, community leadership and engagement, making and scrutinising decisions, and developing and reviewing council policy.
To become a councillor, you must be British, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union, must be at least 18 years old and registered to vote in the area, or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election.
Although there are also certain restrictions on holding the post of councillor, formal qualifications or previous council experience are not required, and anyone elected for the first time will be given all the training and support they need.
Anyone wishing to attend either event can register their interest by sending contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 7 November.
More information about becoming a councillor can be found here.