Becoming a councillor
Do you think the local park could be improved? Maybe you want a greater say on planning matters? Then why not become a councillor?
On May 2nd 2019, residents in East Herts elected a whole new council with all 50 seats being contested. Many parish and town councils also be holding elections at the same time. So if you believe there's something that needs improving in your neighbourhood then maybe you are the person to do something about it: Become a councillor!
See the advice given by the Electoral Commission on standing for election.
What do councillors do?
East Herts Councillors are responsible for a wide range of services from collecting people's waste and recycling to helping to shape the future of our towns and villages. As one of our councillors you will:
- Represent the interests of people in your ward (the area you are elected to represent), as well as dealing with individual residents' concerns when they arise;
- Encourage your constituents to participate and become involved in the decision making process;
- Respond to electors' enquiries and concerns in a fair and impartial manner;
- Contribute to and participate in the good governance of the council;
- Take part in parish/town council meetings for your electoral ward;
- Make major decisions, collectively with your colleagues, on:
- The services the council provides,
- Setting the budget; and
- Overseeing how services are run;
Two of our existing councillors describe what motivates them:
Newly elected Councillor Sophie Bell (Watton-at-Stone) said
"I was inspired to become a district councillor after working with the local council during my time at university. I saw the effect councillors were having on peoples' lives, and I wanted to get involved and help people in the same way. I stood for council in August 2018 at a bye election, and I thoroughly enjoy helping people with all sorts of problems, and having more involvement within my community. Being a councillor is extremely rewarding, and I enjoy it immensely."
Current Hertford Castle Councillor Suzanne Rutland-Barsby said
"Come May I will have been a councillor for 16 years. I can't say it's all been a bed of roses. When I was first elected I had a full time job as well, so there were time pressures on more than one occasion."
It has however been a rich experience that has been very rewarding especially when I have been able to make a difference to people's lives and contribute to the future of the district. It delights me a great deal to get a thank-you letter from someone I have helped - it is so good when that happens!
During my time as a councillor I have also learned so much from my colleagues within the council, who are from all walks of life."