It’s still 3 months to go before candidate nominations open for the next council, but they will pass quickly, and in the meantime those contemplating it need to do their homework on what the role entails.

We wrote quite a lot about what is involved in being a councilor at the time of the 2019 elections and Cr Gwynn Compton has recently produced podcasts on the subject which can be listened to here — but some key considerations are:-

  • The top management want to run the show — and they don’t like elected members who have different ideas to them. That’s been well demonstrated by the experience of recent years under bosses Messrs Dougherty 2008-2017 and Maxwell since 2017.
  • If you want an easy ride, you need to constantly concur with what the management want — they will then treat you as an A List councilor.
  • If you want to represent the interests of the people and do right by them — the management will treat you as a B List councilor. Relations will be civil but frosty and you’ll be removed from the Information Loop that A Listers are part of.
  • Whichever list you want to be a part of, the public is going to hold you accountable for how their Rates money gets spent. Being in the public spotlight, the media will take a lot more interest in you than if you’re a board member of a commercial body, even a government one, quasi-autonomous or not.
  • The job can be stressful and will definitely be time-consuming if you take it seriously. Into the bargain, the pay rate is poor — don’t expect an hourly remuneration rate much above the minimum wage.
  • It is best suited to people who are retired, or if you do have another job, one that is part time.