Have you ever thought about being a county councillor?
Staffordshire County Councillors come from a wide range of backgrounds, and they bring that joint experience to a role that’s just as varied, exciting and challenging - being a county councillor.
If you have ever wanted to have a part in leading Staffordshire and its communities, you will find all the information you need in these pages.
This page gives you an overview of what you need to know - after that, you can find more detail on the councillor role, and information on how to become a candidate.
County Councillors represent their divisions and the people who live there, as the bridge between the community and the county council. As well as being an advocate for your local residents and signposting them to the right support, you will need to keep them informed about the issues that affect them.
County Councillors need to build strong relationships and encourage local people to make their views known and engage with you and the council. Good communication and engagement is central to being an effective councillor.
As a local councillor, your residents will expect you to:
- respond to their queries and investigate their concerns (casework)
- communicate council decisions that affect them
- know your patch and be aware of any problems
- know and work with representatives of local organisations, interest groups and businesses
- represent their views at council meetings
- lead local campaigns on their behalf
County Councillors also play a big role strategically. Staffordshire County Council works with local partners and Staffordshire residents to feed into how the council develops its vision and strategies for the future. Our councillors have a crucial role in those conversations and helping local people to have their voice heard.
You might also be asked to serve on one or more committees or working groups, giving you an opportunity to feed into more specialist discussions or vital oversight of how the council and its partners are delivering.
Could I be a county councillor? - video
Day to day
The councillor role can be different every day, but there are certain fixed times where you will need to be available. Democratic meetings at Staffordshire County Council take place during the daytime, and there are at least six meetings of the full council every year which you will need to attend. In addition, you may also sit on 3 or 4 regulatory or scrutiny committees, or working groups, which also meet during the day.
Being a county councillor is a major time commitment, and as well as the demands of casework etc., you should remember to consider 'hidden' draws on your time like travelling to meetings or attending parish council or community group meetings within the local area. The council will do its best to be flexible and support you, for example looking at opportunities for 'day to day' meetings to be virtual, but the role will still take up a lot of your time.
What is being a county councillor like? - video
Support and wellbeing
Following election, you will be supported in your role by dedicated county council officers and an induction programme with ongoing training and development throughout your term of office - to help you deliver your role effectively.
Communities can show an enormous expectation of their county councillors, and you will after all be accountable to those residents. But you will not be expected to know everything or be left to operate alone - you will have the support of council officers and other members around you, including in challenging situations.
Staffordshire County Councillors also need to have various skills for their role, and being ICT-literate, and willing to work digitally, is essential to the role. Again, you will be supported throughout your term around ICT and the required skills.
We are also absolutely committed to inclusivity and accessibility, and our officers will work flexibly to support and accommodate any additional needs our county councillors may have.
Standing for county councillor - things to think about - video
There is lots more information available on the government's become a councillor page.
The Local Government Association's be a councillor campaign is also helpful.