The Councillor's Role and Responsibilities
A local government councillor will have numerous roles and responsibilities. It is a wide ranging and onerous position but can be very rewarding and some councillors seek re-election, some of them serving for 20 years or more.
- Working with Constituents
- Working with the Council
- Working with Outside Bodies
- Working with a Political Party
You will have a duty to represent the views of your community and their needs. This is not restricted to your own ward as you must be objective and take into consideration the needs and well-being of all Moray residents and the community as a whole.
Councillors also spend a great deal of time with their constituents through holding drop-in surgeries and corresponding and engaging with their constituents on a wide range of matters.
Councillors will also:-
- Provide political / strategic leadership setting out policy framework within which the council operates
- Make decisions on major local and national priority issues
- Provide community leadership by representing the views of the community and community engagement
- Ensure statutory duties of the council are carried out
- Adhere to the national Code of Conduct for Councillors [external link]
- Be open and transparent
Councillors have a duty to scrutinise the performance of the Council in delivering against the priorities and targets which are set. Continuous scrutiny of targets against outcomes is vital.
It must be appreciated that Councillors have a duty to deliver the priorities set by the government and to decide how best those priorities can be delivered in a local context.
Some of a councillor’s work will be done through committees. The committees publish their reports in advance and allow the press and public to attend meetings (with some exemptions for confidential matters).
Most of the Council’s income is derived from central government and the Council must work within fairly tight limits when setting budgets therefore balancing these responsibilities.
Consequently, during the regular committee meetings, decisions are made which may take a great deal of time.
Councillors attend local bodies such as Community Councils, Local Area Forums and voluntary organisations.
Work in partnership with outside bodies such as Community Planning Partners, National Health Service, Police, Fire and Rescue Service, HIE Moray, Communities Scotland and the Voluntary Sector to provide better services
If a Councillor is also a member of a political party, they will be expected to attend political group meetings especially before council meetings, and also be required to attend party training, campaigns and events.