Council calls on people to consider becoming a councillor
Posted on: 20 May 2016
Local elections may be a full year away, but Devon County Council is inviting community-minded people to start thinking now, if they haven’t already, whether they’d like to be a councillor.
The Council is hoping to instil enthusiasm for local government, and wants the opportunity to appeal to people of all backgrounds.
Its Chief Executive, Phil Norrey, says:
“The Council is only ever as vibrant, effective and relevant as the people elected to run it. The decisions made by our councillors affect residents’ quality of life in countless ways, from education, health and wellbeing and roads to supporting local businesses.”
If anything, life experience is the most important attribute a councillor can bring to the role. There are some conditions, but generally any UK, Commonwealth or EU citizen over 18 who lives or works in Devon, can stand for election as a Devon County Councillor.
They can belong to a political party, or they can stand as independent candidates, separate from political parties.
Local people become councillors for many reasons, but mainly because they feel strongly about the area in which they live and they want to make a difference.
Current Devon County Councillors come from a range of backgrounds, some still in their first term while others have successfully been re-elected many times.
Councillor Jonathan Hawkins has represented the Dartmouth and Kingswear division since 2005, while Councillors Emma Morse, Exeter’s Pinhoe and Mincinglake, and Alistair Dewhirst, Teignbridge South division, were both elected to the County Council in 2013.
Cllr Hawkins said:
“I care passionately about the community in which I was brought up, and wanted quite simply to be able to put something back into that community. Ultimately I really like trying to help people.”
Cllr Morse said:
“I became a Councillor to represent my local community and those young women and mothers like me that need a voice on Devon County Council.”
Cllr Dewhirst said:
“I wholeheartedly believe in a fair and open society with transparency of governance and being a Councillor is the best way to promote these principles for the benefit of my local community.”
To find out more about becoming a Devon County Councillor visit the County Council’s website .