NALC holds an event to demystify the role of local councillors
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) held an online event about demystifying the role of local councillors on 26 July 2023, which looked at a local councillor's role and the crucial skillset they require.
The expert panel featured Cllr Michaella Biscomb, vice chair of Kippax Parish Council, the former Local Government Association chair Cllr James Jamieson, and Cllr Jeremy Richardson, from Cold Norton Parish Council, who all spoke about their experiences as a councillor while highlighting that councillors should have a passion for making their town and community better and how key characteristics, such as confidence, curiosity, and a willingness to learn, will enable individuals to do this role successfully.
Cllr Michaella emphasised that councillors need four skills: confidence and curiosity, willingness to learn, energy and enthusiasm to get involved, and knowing when to bite your tongue. She stated, "As a councillor, it is essential to have the skill of confidence and curiosity to not always rely on people who have been councillors for a long time telling you this is how procedures and process have always been done".
Cllr Richardson stressed the importance of building a team with fellow councillors and the local community. He said, "At the village level, the most important team you can build is with the residents".
Cllr Jamieson spoke about returning to basics, stating, "No matter what type of councillor you are, the job's core is the same. It is about improving your place. It is about working with people to improve your town and community".