On Friday 5 July, Councillors, council officers, and participants from the voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise sector joined us at Federation House for a half-day workshop exploring findings from focus groups re-examining the role of local Councillors. This was the closing stakeholder event for our ARC project, Testing the 21st Century Councillor framework, delivered in partnership with North West Employers.
Testing the 21st Century Councillor Framework
Building on the 21st Century Councillor Framework, developed by University of Birmingham and North West Employers, this Jam and Justice project focused on strengthening relationships between local councillors and citizens / constituents in positive ways.
Download a full report of our findings:
The role of councillors has changed dramatically since the Local Government Act of 2000, which re-shaped how local councils make decisions and, to a certain extent, curtailed the decision-making powers of local councillors. The 21st Century Councillor Framework responded to this by setting out the sorts of roles, skills and capacities needed for councillors to operate successfully in this new environment.
This Jam and Justice-designed project focused on testing how the proposed role, skills and relationships are seen by all those involved in decision-making: members, citizens, officers, as well as other stakeholders and partners.
We also released an early version of our findings in March 2019, written for those with limited or no knowledge of how Councils operate; see "Councillors and Communities" (download). We also produced a summary of key messages to accompany the main report.