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Become a Councillor - Make a difference

Ferndown Town Council comprises 17 Councillors across 7 Wards.
The Council currently has a vacancy for a Councillor on Central Ward and Central North Ward.
A By-elections for the vacancy for the Central Ward has been called and will be held on 6 May 2021.

The Council will co-opt for the vacancy for the Central North Ward. 

If you are passionate about your local community, we need you. Councillors make a huge difference to the quality of life of local people and how local issues are dealt with. We need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect the communities they serve to put themselves forward for election.

Being a councillor is highly rewarding.
No other role gives you a chance to make such a huge difference to the quality of life of people in your local area and to influence the way issues are dealt with locally.
There are many reasons why you might like to become a councillor:
• to make a difference and help shape the future of the local community
• concern about your local area and wanting to ensure the community gets the right services
• to represent the views of local people and ensure that community interests are taken into account
• concern about a specific issue and wanting to do something about it
• having good ideas for the council and community in a time of scarce resources
• to contribute your skills
• to build on other community work through voluntary group or school governing body
• to pursue your political ambitions and contribute to your community
• it can be a career-enhancing activity, allowing you to develop leadership and analytical skills and to obtain practical and managerial work experience.

Councillors are elected to represent the local community, becoming a councillor is both a rewarding and privileged form of public service.

A Councillors normal term of office is four years
You can become a councillor as long as you are:
• British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
• At least 18 years old
• Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election.
You can’t be a councillor if you:
• Work for the council you want to be a councillor for, or for another local authority in a political restricted post
• Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
• Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the five years before election day
• Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court.
If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, you should contact the electoral services department at your local council for advice.

You will be in a position to make a difference to the quality of other people’s daily lives and prospects.
Being an effective councillor requires both commitment and hard work. You will have to balance the needs and interests of residents and the council.
Over recent years the role of councils has changed. They now have additional responsibilities, a focus on engaging better with communities, and working in partnership with different organisations.

The main job of a Councillor is to participate in the collective decision-making processes of his/her council by contributing to the formal decisions making processes.
A councillor’s role and responsibilities include:
• developing strategies and plans for the area
• serving the community – helping with problems and ideas
• representing the community
• working with others
• decision making and reviewing decisions
• talking to the community about their needs and about what the council is doing
Councillors do this by:
• Talking to constituents by phone, email and letter, social media, home visits, drop-in sessions, street or community meetings, local events.
• Attending formal council meetings.
• Managing casework – where people come to you for help with problems.
• Working on specific council projects with other councillors and council officers.
• Representing the council on outside organisations and public bodies.
• Participating in community meetings and events, such as community safety and policing.
There are a range of training opportunities available to assist Councillors in the work they undertake and decisions they help form.

For further information or an informal chat contact the Town Clerk, Louise Harrison:
Tel: 01202 892249
Email: townclerk@ferndown.gov.uk

Further guidance from the Electoral Commission for Parish Council Elections standing as a candidate.