Wiltshire Publications

Could you serve Westbury as a councillor?

IFyou are dedicated to your town and want to help make  it an even better place to live, now is the time to consider standing for a seat on the town council.

The people of Westbury will elect the 15 members of Westbury Town Council on Thursday 2nd May, with nominations for councillors opening next week on Monday 18th March.

All seats on Westbury Town Council will be up for grabs with existing councillors required to stand for re-election. Representatives from the town on Wiltshire Council will also be decided on the same date.

Mayor of Westbury, cllr Sue Ezra said, “Councillors are elected to represent their local community, and help make decisions on the running of the town. It’s about serving your town. You are there for the people, you’ve got to be prepared to give up some of your time.

“It covers such a wide range of subjects, but people shouldn’t be put off by that. When you first start on the council, there are people to show you the way to go. There is councillor training that you can attend which explains how things work.”

Deputy mayor, cllr Mike Cuthbert-Murray said, “People shouldn’t go into it thinking it’s a breeze, but you can make a difference, and it can be a very rewarding job. It’s for those who really want to serve the town.

“Being a councillor is about helping with people’s problems, right across the spectrum. It’s not easy, but you get the satisfaction of trying to get things done for other people.”

Westbury town councillors are required to attend a full council meeting every two months. There are also additional meetings for those who serve on the various council committees – General Purposes, Highways, Planning and Development, and Finance. All the meetings are held in the evening.

Councillors are also invited to become members of the council’s working groups, which include groups covering events (Christmas in Westbury and the street fayre), car parking, town centre viability, play and leisure facilities, street furniture, CCTV, tourism and the website working group.

Councillors are also asked to support the town council’s events, such as the summer street fayre and the Christmas lights switch on and Christmas in Westbury events.

Information on the requirements and roles of a councillor can be found at www.nalc.gov.uk or on the Wiltshire Council website. Councillors are required to be a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union, and be over 18 years of age.

The deadline for nominations is 12.00noon on Friday 5th April.

Boundary changes

From May, there will be one less councillor on Westbury Town Council. Westbury is currently divided into the Laverton and Ham wards, with a total of 16 councillors. However, these wards will be replaced by Westbury north, west and east areas. Five councillors will be elected in each ward, giving a total of 15 councillors.