How to get involved in council decisions - make your voice heard

Becoming a councillor

About the role of a councillor

All councils are led by democratically elected councillors who set the vision and direction and represent their local community.

Central Bedfordshire Council comprises of 63 councillors.

Councillors are elected to the local council to represent their own local community, so they must either live or work in the area.

Each councillor has their own reasons for running but the role offers the chance to make a huge difference to the quality of life for people in your local area. Being an effective councillor requires both commitment and hard work. Councillors have to balance the needs and interests of residents, the political party they represent (if any) and the council.

The councillor’s role centres around community leadership and engagement, and responsibilities include:

  • representing the ward for which they are elected
  • decision-making - developing and reviewing council policy
  • scrutinising decisions taken by the councillors on the executive or cabinet
  • regulatory, quasi-judicial and statutory duties

If you are interested in becoming a councillor, then we recommend you read the guidance on the GOV.UK website.

Take a look at our Becoming a Central Bedfordshire Councillor guide (PDF), which will help you decide if you're interested in standing as a representative of your community, in the next local elections on 4 May 2023.

You can also view a video of our councillors talking about their experiences as local councillors in Central Bedfordshire.

If you do decide to stand as a candidate or if you are successfully elected then it is not expected that you will experience any problems when running of office or during your time in office. Indeed most Councillors will not experience any problems. However, we have produced some guidance for candidates and Members to help reduce any risks. These include:

More information and guidance for Members and candidates can also be found on the Local Government Association’s website.