How much will I get paid?
All councillors receive a basic salary. Councillors are also entitled to travel allowances. You can also claim your salary whilst taking family absence such as parental leave.
Those councillors who undertake additional responsibilities such as being a cabinet member, committee chair or leader of their political group will receive an additional payment. This is called a senior salary and is calculated based on the size of the council. More information is available here
I have a disability, will the Council provide the support I need?
Yes. The council will provide support to cater for your specific disability. The council will provide you with the access arrangements you need. Council buildings must be accessible by law for Disabled people. The Council Chamber has recently undergone refurbishment works to ensure improved accessibility for all.
Disabled candidates are entitled to funding to help with any additional costs associated with their impairment which could be a barrier to them standing as a councillor.
Council meetings are held in a hybrid model, negating the requirement to travel long distances to attend in person.
I have children, will the Council support with childcare and flexible arrangements?
Councillors are entitled to a contribution towards the costs of care for those they care for, or for their own personal support. The schedule for Council meetings is arranged to avoid school holidays where possible.
How much time will I need to dedicate to the role?
Councillors, on average, commit the equivalent of three days a week to the role. This can be challenging but many councillors are able to do it. Not all council commitments are during the working day but also in the evenings and at weekends. The Council will do all it can to accommodate you, such as varying the times of meetings so that you can attend. An annual survey is undertaken to determine the preferred starting time of meetings along with flexible arrangements for remote access to meetings where possible.
Discussions can be held with group leaders outlining your responsibilities and commitments to enable the workload to be adapted to your needs (if applicable). You can be very clear with your constituents about the times that you’d be able to meet with them, take their calls and respond to emails.
I’ve seen that some Councillors, like national politicians can receive abuse on social media. Could this happen to me?
Some members have unfortunately experienced this; however all local councils are working together to provide support for members who experience any abuse and also to campaign against it. The Council provides access to dedicated Social Media training and provides best practice examples for Councillors. The Council also has a dedicated Social Media policy.
What facilities / equipment will I have access to?
Each political group will have access to a private room on site at the Council buildings to host internal meetings (Covid restrictions permitting). The Council Chamber has recently been refurbished and adapted providing Members with modern and accessible space to attend meetings. All Councillors will be provided with digital support tailored to your needs including support with broadband provision.
All Councillors also have access to the dedicated Research Officer within the Council Business Unit to assist Councillors in furthering their work.
Do I have the right qualifications / Skills?
Councillors come from all backgrounds and abilities. This is important so that they can represent their communities. Councils need councillors with a range of experiences, employment backgrounds and qualifications. As a member you’ll need to be able to understand reports that council officers write before you take decisions, you’ll also be expected to do most of your work on a computer and have good people skills to work with everyone in the community. Most members say that an understanding of your community, a willingness to listen and learn and some common sense is all you need.
Every council will run an orientation programme for new members to show you where and who everyone is, followed by an induction programme to help you understand your role, council procedures and the practical skills you need, for example to chair a meeting.
Ongoing regular training is provided on a one to one or open forum basis and is adapted to your needs and requirements to ensure you have the right skills to carry out role.
How is the use of Welsh language encouraged in the role?
The Council works hard to ensure it aligns with the Welsh Language Standards. Meeting documents are available bilingually in accordance with Welsh Language Standards and simultaneous translation is available at the majority of meetings.
I’d like to get some experience of being a Councillor, how can I do this?
If you’d like to get an idea of the type of work that is currently undertaken at meetings you can get experience prior to committing by attending open sessions held in the Council Chamber (Covid Restrictions permitting). This will allow potential candidates to gain insight into how meetings are run and enable you to view the Council Chamber facilities.
Potential candidates are also encouraged to view each committee’s web pages to understand the types of business undertaken at each committee. There are also recordings of previous meetings available to view online here.