Becoming a councillor
How to become a councillor on the GOV.UK website
How to find details of councillors’ allowances and interests
We publish details of councillors’ allowances and the Register of Pecuniary Interests (setting out their financial and other interests in the borough) to promote transparency in the use of public funds and decision-making.
Our policy is to publish as much information as we can, subject to any legal restrictions.
Information is updated on an annual basis. We update the Register of Interests forms when changes are made.
The published information includes:
- individual councillor’s allowances under our Members Allowance Scheme
- Individual councillor’s Register of Pecuniary Interests Forms
In addition, details of councillors’ declarations of interests in meetings can be found:
- in the minutes of individual meetings under 'Declarations of Interests'
- in the Ethical Monitoring Annual Report submitted to our Audit and Governance Committee
- on each councillor's individual webpage
Details of councillors’ declarations of their receipt of gifts and hospitality are also reported in the Ethical Monitoring Report and on their individual webpages.
The role of a councillor
Councillors have a wide-ranging role and it’s up to each individual councillor to choose how they work. In general, councillors have three main areas of responsibility:
- ward representation
- community leadership
The London Borough of Waltham Forest is divided up into 20 areas, known as wards. Each ward elects three councillors.
For many councillors, representing their ward is the most important aspect of their role. This can involve a variety of activities but usually means councillors will spend time:
- listening to the views of local people so that they know what problems and issues exist in their ward
- ensuring that the needs of their ward are taken into account when the council is making decisions about how it is run, what services it should provide, and how it should spend its money
- working with council officers to bring about improvements to their ward
- holding surgeries where local people can drop in with enquiries about the council or raise issues and concerns about any problems, which the councillor can deal with or seek to resolve
- getting involved in local campaigns
- offering support to local schools, community groups, businesses and other organisations
All councillors are involved in making decisions about how the council is run, what services the council should provide, and how the council should spend its money.
For more on how the council to makes decisions read our page on council decision making.
The council’s constitution sets out which committees, councillors, and officers can take which types of decision.
Many councillors, who aren’t in the cabinet, are members of an overview and scrutiny committee and sub-committees and panels.
Many other organisations and agencies like the NHS, businesses, charities, and voluntary and community groups, play an important role in affecting the quality of the local area.
Since councillors can’t tell these other organisations what to do, the councillor’s, and the council’s, role as a community leader is to:
- build a shared understanding across these different organisations about key local issues that need addressing
- co-ordinate the actions of these organisations to make sure that everyone is working together in the most effective way