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The Life of a Councillor: The Inside Scoop on Local Authorities


Date: Monday 15th March, 2021

In this local election special, we welcomed councillors from across the country, from all levels of local government to join us and delve deeper into the reality of being a councillor, and the vital role of local democracy.

Recent events at Handforth Parish Council catapulted local government into the headlines, and who better to kick off the webinar than Jackie Weaver herself. She was joined by Justin Griggs and Sue Baxter of the National Association for Local Councils (NALC) to discuss their experiences working with Parish Councils.

We then heard from Mary Lewis of Surrey County Council and Kieron Wilson of BCP Council, who both spoke of the value of being a councillor. Followed were discussions with Sheila Peacock and Saima Ashraf, representing the London Boroughs of Haringey and Barking and Dagenham respectively, who both shed light on their experiences as women holding senior positions in local authorities.

With local elections fast approaching, hundreds of new members will be entering council chambers in person, or virtually, for the first time in May. Our panellists gave insight into what they can expect, who they can turn to for guidance as they navigate their way along the corridors of power, and what their top tips are for being an effective representative for residents.

What did we take away from this webinar? That the pride and passion of our councillors on every level of local government is second to none, and that anyone can get involved in local government if you take the leap!

Chair: Nick Kilby

Jackie Weaver, Chief Officer of Cheshire Association of Local Councils
Cllr Sheila Peacock, Former Mayor of Haringey
Justin Griggs, Head of Policy & Communications at the National Association of Local Councils (NALC)
Cllr Mary Lewis, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families at Surrey County Council
Cllr Kieron Wilson, BCP Council
Cllr Saima Ashraf, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Cllr Sue Baxter, Chair of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC)

The Life of a Councillor: The Inside Scoop on Local Authorities