Standing as Cheshire East Councillor
Councillor roles and responsibilities
Being a Councillor requires commitment and hard work but is very rewarding.
A Councillor’s main role and responsibilities include:
- representing the ward for which they are elected
- acting as an advocate for their residents
- making major decisions about Council services and budgets
- developing and reviewing Council policies
- scrutinising decisions taken by the Cabinet
- regulatory, quasi-judicial and statutory duties (e.g. considering planning and licensing applications)
Qualifications needed to be a Councillor
You do not need any special qualifications to stand as a Councillor although an understanding of how to use IT equipment is essential.
There are certain restrictions on who can stand. The Electoral Commission website has further information about this.
What to expect as a Cheshire East Councillor
You would be expected to live by and demonstrate the values and behaviours (PDF, 1.3MB) placed on all elected Members by Cheshire East Council.
A general obligation regarding appropriate behaviour is also placed on Councillors by the Cheshire East Council Members’ Code of Conduct.
As an individual, you would have to balance the interests of your residents (the ward role), the needs of the authority (the Council role) and the political party you represent (if any) plus your family commitments, all of which will make demands on your time.
Sometimes, there might be challenges in striking that balance, for instance where the interests of your residents don’t align with the needs of the Council.
You will need to be available to attend meetings of full Council and any other bodies you are appointed to, the majority of which are currently held during the day. If you are appointed to the Cabinet or a Chairmanship, your workload will be greater. See the current schedule of meetings.
You may need to arrange for some time off work or from other activities for your Council duties; advice can be found on the Gov.uk website.
Terms of office
Councillors are elected to serve for a period of four years. At the end of this period, they may retire or stand for re-election. Elections will next be held in 2023.
Training and support you can expect to receive from the Council
Cheshire East Council provides a wide-ranging programme of help and support throughout a Member’s term of office and in return, our Councillors are expected to play an active role in their own development by attending events arranged for them and by setting aside time to complete e-learning modules.
A comprehensive induction programme runs during the first six months after the election, which aims to introduce new Councillors to their responsibilities and the organisation as a whole, attendance at which is a requirement of the role.
Councillors also have access to an annual programme of mandatory and developmental events, the aim of which is to help them become familiar with their role, develop their knowledge and build professional working relationships with others both inside and outside of the organisation.
IT equipment necessary for carrying out the role is provided to each Councillor.
This is not a salaried position but Councillors do receive payment in the form of a basic allowance, and may receive a further allowance if they hold a position with additional responsibilities on the council, see the councillor expenses and allowances page for more information.
Interested in standing as a councillor
Once you’ve decided to stand as a Councillor there are two main routes; you can decide to stand for a political party or group or as an independent candidate.
Links related to being a Councillor: