A job description for councillors

28 Jan

While browsing around the web for information on councillor allowances I found the most recent report of the independent remuneration panel of London Councils, The Remuneration of Councillors in London 2014.

At the back there’s an appendix with a model job profile for councillors. It makes for interesting reading:

On behalf of the community – a job profile for councillors


  1. To participate constructively in the good governance of the area.
  2. To contribute actively to the formation and scrutiny of the authority’s policies, budget, strategies and service delivery.
  3. To represent effectively the interests of the ward for which the councillor was elected, and deal with constituents’ enquiries and representations.
  4. To champion the causes which best relate to the interests and sustainability of the community and campaign for the improvement of the quality of life of the community in terms of equity, economy and environment.
  5. To represent the council on an outside body, such as a charitable trust or neighbourhood association.

Key Tasks:

  1. To fulfil the statutory and locally determined requirements of an elected member of a local authority and the authority itself, including compliance with all relevant codes of conduct, and participation in those decisions and activities reserved to the full council (for example, setting budgets, overall priorities, strategy).
  2. To participate effectively as a member of any committee or panel to which the councillor is appointed, including related responsibilities for the services falling within the committee’s (or panel’s) terms of reference, human resource issues, staff appointments, fees and charges, and liaison with other public bodies to promote better understanding and partnership working.
  3. To participate in the activities of an outside body to which the councillor is appointed, providing two-way communication between the organisations. Also, for the same purpose, to develop and maintain a working knowledge of the authority’s policies and practices in relation to that body and of the community’s needs and aspirations in respect of that body’s role and functions.
  4. To participate in the scrutiny or performance review of the services of the authority, including where the authority so decides, the scrutiny of policies and budget, and their effectiveness in achieving the strategic objectives of the authority.
  5. To participate, as appointed, in the area and in service-based consultative processes with the community and with other organisations.
  6. To represent the authority to the community, and the community to the authority, through the various forums available.
  7. To develop and maintain a working knowledge of the authority’s services, management arrangements, powers/duties, and constraints, and to develop good working relationships with relevant officers of the authority.
  8. To develop and maintain a working knowledge of the organisations, services, activities and other factors which impact upon the community’s well-being and identity.
  9. To contribute constructively to open government and democratic renewal through active encouragement of the community to participate generally in the government of the area.
  10. To participate in the activities of any political group of which the councillor is a member.
  11. To undertake necessary training and development programmes as agreed by the authority.
  12. To be accountable for his/her actions and to report regularly on them in accessible and transparent ways.

How many of Newham’s 60 councillors could read that and – hand on heart – say they were doing the job the community expects of them? 

2 Responses to “A job description for councillors”

  1. terry ball February 5, 2016 at 11:20 #

    i can only think of a couple who have been around for years but have never made it to the higher positions of newham ,to be honest i do not think its the fault of newly elected councillors they have no role models to look to in the cabinet or executive they are to busy fighting each other for positions and income .if you as a newby think that its about money and glory you just follow their lead , most of newham labour councillors have split into cliques and dislike each other with a passion and eastham and westham have always been at each others throats since 1965 .if they cant work with each other how are they going to work on behalf of the community that elected them,i doubt any councillor in position now has ever seen that set of terms and conditions let alone adhere to them .

  2. terry ball February 18, 2016 at 07:08 #

    if recent grapevine is to be believed all wards are at risk of a coup by certain north of the borough individuals to control gc and clp to try altering the trigger ballot which looms upon the mayor ,i would implore all newham labour wards get rid of current mob and start afresh it would put a stop to this power war and get some decent councillors to work on behalf of the electorate and not against them ,

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