A councillor is an elected representative for a small, local area called a ward. The London Borough of Southwark is made up of 23 wards represented by 63 councillors. Three councillors are elected to represent 17 of the wards, whilst the remaining six wards are represented by 2 councillors each. The Labour party currently has 49 councillors in Southwark, and the Liberal Democrat party has 14.
Councillors are expected to engage with residents and community groups on a range of different issues and take on an important community leadership role.
Their primary role is to represent their ward or division and the people who live in it, and provide a bridge between the community and the council.
They are also an advocate for local residents and signposting them to the right people at the council.
Good communication and engagement is central to being an effective councillor. Councillors must keep ward residents informed about issues that affect them.
Councillors contribute to the development of policies and strategies, including budget setting, scrutinising council decisions or taking decisions on planning or licensing applications.
In order to understand and represent local views and priorities, councillors need to build strong relationships and encourage local people to make their views known and engage with you and the council.
Councillors must respond to queries and investigate concerns (casework), communicate council decisions that affect them; be aware of any problems and issues facing their ward; know and work with representatives of local organisations, interest groups and businesses; represent their views at council meetings; lead local campaigns on their behalf.