The City Council comprises 33 councillors, with three councillors representing each of the 11 wards within Lincoln. Individual councillors are elected by eligible residents of their wards once every four years. Elections are held in three of every four years, with one councillor in each ward elected in each of the first three years. In the fourth year, the City Council does not hold regular elections; the next year in which this will happen is 2013. You can find out more about how to stand for election by clicking here.
The role of councillors
Councillors represent the interests of the residents of their wards and work to serve the city as a whole. They can sit on various committees within the council, and some will represent the council and the city on various outside bodies at local and regional levels. Residents can approach councillors with problems requesting their advice and assistance where possible. As described below, different councillors can undertake a variety of roles; if you would like to see more detailed role descriptions please view the document linked to at the bottom of this page.
The council appoints a leader, who is then able to appoint up to nine other portfolio holders (The City of Lincoln currently has six portfolio holders). Portfolio holders take responsibility for particular areas (such as housing or environmental matters) and sit on the Council’s Executive, which is responsible for most day-to-day decisions. Portfolio holders act as the public face for their particular area, and can be questioned on relevant matters at Full Council by other councillors or members of the public.
Councillors who do not sit on sit on the Executive remain an important part of the council’s decision-making process. Councillors on scrutiny committees are exclusively drawn from non-Executive members. They, along with Executive members, can also be nominated onto the council’s other committees, including the Licensing and Planning Committees. All councillors are part of the Full Council, which is the ultimate decision-making body.
Councillors often sit on bodies outside the council. The council formally nominates councillors to represent the council on certain outside bodies, but some councillors will also take part in groups relevant to their community while not formally representing the City Council.