Be a Councillor

Are you passionate about what happens in Haringey? 

Could you help shape the future of Haringey for the better? 

If you answered yes to both questions, then we need you! 

If you’re considering becoming a councillor, you should find all of the information you need to make an informed decision on this page.  

For further details on how to become a candidate, please visit How to become a Haringey Councillor.

Why become a Councillor?

Councillors make a huge difference to the quality of life of residents and how local issues are dealt with. They are elected to represent the local community, so you must either live or work in Haringey

Being a councillor is highly rewarding so there are many reasons why people may decide to become one, such as:

  • make a difference and help shape the future of Haringey
  • change things and serve the community
  • represent the view and interests of local people
  • address concerns about a specific issue
  • pursue political ambitions
  • develop skills, gain work experience, and enhance careers

Local councils can only be as effective as the people elected to run it, so we need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect our vibrant and diverse community to put themselves forward for the next election.

What being a Councillor involves

Being an effective councillor requires commitment and hard work. You will have to balance the needs and interests of residents, the council and (if you represent one) your political party.

A councillor’s role and responsibilities include:

  • developing strategies and plans for the area
  • serving the community – helping with problems and ideas
  • representing the community
  • working with others
  • decision making and reviewing decisions
  • talking to the community about their needs and about what the council is doing

Skills and experience

It is important that we have councillors from different backgrounds with a broad range of skills and life experience.

You don’t need any special qualifications to be a councillor. Skills gained through work, raising a family, caring for relatives, volunteering or life experience are highly valuable. However, having the following skills will help you in the role:

  • Communication and influencing skills
  • Problem solving, questioning and analytical skills
  • Team working 
  • Organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to engage with the local community
  • Knowledge of the local area 
  • Technology skills 

If you don’t feel that you have the skills or confidence to be a councillor just yet, the Local Government Association (LGA) provides support, information and training (external link)

There is additional support available to you if you’re disabled and considering standing for elected office (external link).

Amount of time needed

Being a councillor is not full-time, so you can determine the amount of time and commitment that you dedicate to the position. It also depends on your specific role within the council and the number of duties you decide to take on.

Some of the things you need to consider are:

  • You may receive a lot of post, emails and phone calls from residents who need help. 
  • Most councillors hold 1-3 drop-in surgeries and may also visit constituents at home or at council offices. 
  • You will be expected to attend up to 5 Full Council meetings a year, as well as occasional 3-4-hour long committee meetings in the evenings.
  • For most meetings there are papers you need to read beforehand which are very detailed and take time to read and understand.
  • If you are elected as a chair, spokesperson, or Cabinet Member it can be quite demanding as you’ll take responsibility for some of the council’s expenditure each year.
  • If you’re a political party member you’ll be required to attend political group meetings and possibly training events/seminars.

Members’ allowance scheme

There is no salary for being a councillor, but you will be paid an allowance to reimburse you for time and expenses incurred whilst on council business. For more information about the Members’ Allowance Scheme please see Part 6 of the Council Constitution.

Support from Democratic Services

Democratic Services provide dedicated support for councillors. This includes a comprehensive induction programme for newly elected councillors, and a bespoke member learning and development programme tailored to suit your role as a community leader, member of the council committee and representative to residents in your ward.

You will be offered:

  • a laptop and mobile phone to use at home for council business 
  • access to fully equipped members’ rooms and meeting rooms based at the council offices. 

Time off work

By law, your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to perform your duties as a councillor.

The amount of time off will depend on your responsibilities and the effect of your absence on your employer's business.

You should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment.

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Be a Councillor - Q&A videos

Chaired by Haringey Council Chief Executive Zina Etheridge, a panel of local councillors and experts share their experiences of being a councillor in Haringey and explain the steps needed to become one.

29 July 2021

Note for iPhone users and Youtube. There is a known bug with iOS and Youtube, Two buttons are read before the player but provide no functionality. We advise that you skip these to access the content.

10 August 2021

Note for iPhone users and Youtube. There is a known bug with iOS and Youtube, Two buttons are read before the player but provide no functionality. We advise that you skip these to access the content.

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Page last updated:

February 8, 2023

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