East Hampshire District Council is on the look-out for dynamic, ambitious, business-savvy people to stand as councillors in the next election. With an election looming on 7 May 2015 EHDC is calling for new councillors with the desire to change their world and the business sense to make it happen. The campaign to recruit new councillors begins with two drop-in meetings on October 24, 2-5pm, and October 27, 6.30-9.30pm, at the council offices in Petersfield. There will be a follow-up meeting on November 18,6-9pm, for potential candidates to gather more detail about becoming a councillor.
People stand as councillors for different reasons:
to speak on the behalf of their community and help their local people whether as a district councillor or a parish councillor
to pursue their political beliefs
to give professional or business skills to the community
What is involved and what are the responsibilities?
You can do as much as you like! The council has a number of committees councillors can get involved in, as well as issues in their wards – like housing, bin collections and so on. The time it takes up all depends on how much you want to get involved. There are evening meetings for each of the four areas and council meetings. There are also planning committee meetings each month. If you wish to get more involved there are three Overview & Scrutiny Committees. Some of your time will be dealing with community issues and depending on how involved you wish to get with these issues depends on your available time.
Councillors are also responsible for dealing with finances, setting the budgets and setting the council tax.
Who can stand as a councillor?
Just about anyone can stand as a councillor. You must:
be over 18 years old and live or work in East Hampshire
be a British Citizen, a Citizen of the Irish Republic, the Commonwealth or another member state of the European Union
not have been declared bankrupt
To stand as a parish councillor the same criteria applies, except you must live or work in the parish you would like to be a councillor for.
Councillors come from all walks of life, backgrounds and age groups, united in the fact that they care about their communities. As a democratic organisation we welcome diversity because we want the district council to reflect its community as far as possible.
District councillors receive a basic allowance of £4,500. This is a re-imbursement for your ‘out of pocket expenses’ such as postage, telephone and petrol. There are also allowances for carrying out duties such as a chairman/vice chairman or leader of the council. The real rewards have more to do with the intrinsic value of the contribution which councillors make to their local community.
Training and support
All elected councillors will initially be given several planned introductory training sessions in their first few weeks of being a councillor. More training is on offer throughout their journey as a councillor. There is also the full time support of well qualified professional staff who are always be happy to give help and advice.
How to apply
Request a nomination information pack from our Electoral Services Section. Also try and go along to some public meetings which will give a good insight of the councillor’s role at the meetings and issues raised. Talk to other councillors in your area.
How do I get further information?
Some leaflets are available, nomination information and guidance. Please contact Electoral Services on 01730 234370 or 234093 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Hopkins, EHDC Chief Executive, said: “We are looking for people with a broad range of abilities and community interests, people who are looking for a chance to use their skills for the benefit of the community; people who want to put something back. With the unprecedented pressures on public sector funding councils must be ever more business-like and professional if they are to thrive. EHDC is setting out a unique way forward for local government, a new way of running a council with the focus on innovation and income generation. We have ambitious plans and we need councillors with the business skills to see it through. We need a new kind of councillor for a new kind of council.”