Panel points the way forward in recruiting new councillors

19 Aug 2009 02:04 PM
A panel of experts set up to consider ways of encouraging a broader range of people to become councillors in Wales has come up with a series of recommendations which they hope will widen participation in local government in Wales.

The Councillors Commission Expert Panel looked at the barriers that may prevent people standing for election to councils and the support and training that councillors need to be effective in carrying out their roles as community representatives.

The Panel’s recommendations include better training and development opportunities for councillors, raising awareness of the role of elected members in local government and linking up with employers to support and encourage employees interested in becoming a councillor.

Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Dr Brian Gibbons said:

"Ensuring that we have a healthy democracy is an essential task for us all in Wales. We must do all that we can to encourage people from a wider range of backgrounds to consider standing as a councillor in Wales.

"I welcome the way in which the Expert Panel has thoroughly examined the issues that may affect whether people are interested in become involved in local government.

"The Panel have come up with a series of 35 wide-ranging recommendations. I will consider carefully those that are addressed to the Welsh Assembly Government and welcome the public’s views on any of the Panel’s recommendations."

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The 22 local authorities in Wales are responsible for £4 billion of public expenditure, over one third of the total Welsh budget.
The Expert Panel in Wales was convened as a result of the Councillors Commission, set up by the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.