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“Nothing leaves you feeling more connected to your community than being a councillor” – find out more at our information event

Find out what it's like to be a councillor at our event

“Fascinating”, “inspiring”, “exciting” and “fulfilling” were among the responses when we asked our elected members what it was like to be a councillor, ahead of our information event for prospective town, parish, and district councillors.

If you’d like to “be able to make a positive difference” and “connect with your community and give something back” then why not come to the Be a Councillor event on Wednesday 21 February, 6pm at Ebley Mill, where you will be able to speak to current councillors and find out what it’s really like to represent your community.

There will be presentations from officers and councillors explaining how the council works, the process of standing for election and the support that is available to councillors.

They will outline a councillor’s duties, the variety of opportunities that are available to them and give advice on how to successfully juggle this role with daily life.

Local elections are taking place on Thursday 2 May 2024, and this will be an opportunity for people to stand as a representative of their local community. By becoming a local councillor, you can help to make decisions that have a direct impact on your community enabling long-lasting positive changes whilst delivering on the council’s priorities. Stroud District Council can only be as effective, relevant, and vibrant as the people elected to run it.

You do not have to belong to or represent a political party to stand in the parish or district council elections; nor do you need any prior experience or formal qualifications as training will be given, and support provided by council officers.

Stroud District Council has been accredited with the Councillor Development Charter to recognise its commitment to councillors’ support, learning and development opportunities.

Elected district councillors are entitled to claim a basic allowance, plus reimbursements for travel, childcare and/or dependant's carers’ allowance and IT equipment. For parish/town councils, please check with the relevant clerk for the area you are intending to stand in regarding allowances or expenses.

Stroud District Council Leader Cllr Catherine Braun said: “Councillors are great advocates for their community, and as a councillor it can be very rewarding to help people resolve issues, improve the local environment and support neighbourhood projects.  If this is something that appeals to you, then please do consider standing for election.

“We need councillors of all ages, from different backgrounds and with a range of experiences, to fully represent the residents of Stroud district.  You don’t need to know everything about the council, as training and support are available. All you need is enthusiasm, a bit of time and energy, and a commitment to your local community.”

Chair of SDC’s Member Development Working Group, Cllr Robin Layfield said: “Becoming a councillor is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. You can feel the connection to your community through the ground beneath your feet. You can speak out on behalf of others, and you can help to bring about positive change and action just by being in the room.

“Anyone can become a councillor – all you need is compassion, consideration, a little bit of time and a willingness to share in the decision-making.

“As a council we are very committed to supporting our members from the get-go, with a comprehensive package of training and personal development options, backed up with a councillor toolkit, peer support and a clear focus on mental health. We want you – our councillors – to be confident in the role right from the moment you are elected.

“It’s not just us saying this either – South West Councils has recently recognised this work by awarding Councillor Development Charter status to SDC.”

Kathy O’Leary, Election Returning Officer and SDC Chief Executive added: “Becoming a councillor is a great way to make a difference to your local community. It is important that we have candidates who have a broad range of experience and skills to help us continue improving the quality of life and opportunities for our residents and businesses.

“I would like to encourage anyone who is considering becoming a councillor to come along to the session. It’s a chance to find out more about this important role, as well as the support that is available.”

There will also be an opportunity to speak to current councillors and ask any questions you may have about the role.

The event will be held on Wednesday 21 February in the Council Chamber, Stroud District Council, Ebley Mill, Ebley Wharf, Stroud, GL5 4UB.

  • 6–7pm Be a Councillor: presentations from existing councillors
  • 7.30 – approx 8.30pm: Candidates & Agents briefing – the elections timetable & nominations process for candidates

Tea and Coffee will be provided.

If you would like more information on becoming a councillor please follow the link: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/elections/becoming-a-councillor

If you have any questions not addressed on our website please email democratic.services@stroud.gov.uk to register your interest.

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