North Lincolnshire is divided into 17 electoral wards represented by 43 councillors. These wards have one, two or three council seats.
Following the local elections on 5 May 2011, Conservative is the largest party with 23 members, Labour has 20 members.
Councillors are elected every four years and are democratically accountable to residents of their wards. The overriding duty of councillors is to the whole community but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.
Our elections pages have more details about how to become a councillor.
Elected members have several roles. These include:
- representing their constituents
- decision-making, either as a cabinet member or on the council
- membership of overview and scrutiny panels
- regulatory decisions, for example on planning and licensing
All of these roles have involved major changes for members who have had to adapt to new ways of working and new practices. North Lincolnshire Council has managed to handle and introduce these changes very successfully.
To help its councillors and officers to carry out their roles, the council has recognised the importance of training. It has set up a series of training sessions for councillors and runs courses that officers and councillors can both attend.