On Monday 30 July, Thanet District Council held a “Be a Councillor” event, aimed at informing and encouraging local people to become Councillors.
The evening event was well attended, with 32 members of the public coming to find out more about being a Councillor.
Councillors Ian Gregory and Jenny Matterface shared their experiences with attendees and explained what had driven them to stand for office. Attendees also heard from Thanet District Council Officers including the Chief Executive, the Head of Finance, Democratic Services Manager and the Elections Manager. Officers provided information about how the Council is run as well as demonstrating what support and training the Council could offer to new Councillors.
Madeline Homer, Chief Executive, Thanet District Council said:
“We want to make sure that people realise that being a Councillor is open to everyone from any walk of life. Becoming a Councillor is a big commitment but one of the key criteria is that someone has a real a passion for their local area and an interest in a range of issues that affect the people living there. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm from so many people wanting to find out about becoming a Councillor.”
There was also an opportunity to speak directly to councillors from all parties and learn about the work they do. The event had a focus on driving attendance from under-represented groups and local people that might not consider themselves to be “Councillor material”. Social media advertisements, posters and face to face invitations were used to attract a broad demographic of local residents.
Details of how to become a Councillor, what the role of Councillor entails, what skills or qualifications are needed and eligibility criteria can all be found on the Thanet District Council website: https://www.thanet.gov.uk/info-pages/become-a-councillor/.