What does a councillor do?

When I was asked to stand for election as a councillor in the London Borough of Sutton I thought it would be wise to carry out some research to get an idea of the tasks that make up a Sutton councillor’s job. I discussed the role with some existing councillors and found a lot of information on the internet, including the Sutton Council web site.

I was surprised at the number and variety of roles each councillor has to take on including:

  • membership of two council committees,
  • substitute member of a third committee,
  • membership of the ward’s Local Committee (Cheam North and Worcester Park Local Committee in our case),
  • membership of committees for external organisations,
  • ward surgeries (held periodically at a local venue to allow ward residents to talk to a councillor),
  • dealing with issues individual ward residents may have (known as ‘casework’),
  • keeping an eye out for local problems, reporting them, then checking on progress.

In addition to this a councillor needs to pro-actively engage with local organisations to understand them better, find out what problems they face and consider ways to help them.

I have only just started to ascend the steep learning curve so I am sure there are tasks not listed above that will come to light over time – watch this space!