Do I have the time?
It is possible to spend much of your time on council work but the vast majority of councillors have full time jobs, families and hobbies. Unless you take on responsibility as a Cabinet member or a Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a committee, your work at the Town Hall should not involve more than a few meetings a month (although this depends on the number of committees/panels you serve on), supporting residents and maintaining your local presence.
In addition to this, the Conservative Group will have private meetings from time to time and you will have meetings to attend in your ward or division. The local Association will also have expectations around supporting campaigning.
How much do I need to know?
You are not going to be expected to take direct responsibility for running the council on the first day you are elected. The main qualifications are an interest in your community and a willingness to learn. Knowledge, experience and confidence will soon follow.
You will receive support from your local Conservative Association, your council colleagues and the Party. Most local authorities provide training and IT support. Council officers are there to help you, they are professionally trained staff who are employed to carry out the lawful functions and duties of a council. Many council groups employ a political assistant or researcher.
Can I afford it?
Councils pay a basic allowance that varies depending on the type and size of the council. They may also pay some telephone and computer charges and provide you with the necessary stationery.
What should I do if I am interested?
Get in touch with the agent or organising secretary of your local Conservative Association. Alternatively, you can let the Party know your interest in campaigning and standing for election here: Conservative Volunteers | Conservative Volunteers (conservatives.com)
You can also talk to a sitting Conservative councillor in your area, for a better understanding of the work of a councillor and the commitment involved, and contact the CCA for an electronic version of our recently updated ‘A Guide to Becoming a Conservative Councillor’.