Time is running out if you want to stand for council
BEING a councillor can be a rollercoaster – one minute you can be a hero for improving the swings in the local park, the next a villain for voting in favour of a rise in council tax.
It is a ride which goes with the territory and in May hundreds of people across Cornwall will step forward hoping to be elected to take a seat at County Hall.
Elections for Cornwall Council – along with scores of town and parish councils – will be held on May 2 and there are just a few weeks left to decide whether to stand.
Whether it is for your local parish council or for the unitary council, standing as a councillor is a commitment unlike many.
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As many of those who have served as councillors have noted, it is not a role you do for money – it is because you want to serve your local community.
First, of course, you have to be nominated – forms have to be completed and you have to convince people in your local ward that you are capable of standing as a councillor.
You may decide to stand as a candidate for a political party or you may decide to stand as an independent candidate.
Then you have the task of making sure as many people as possible in your local area know who you are, know what you're standing for and, ultimately, convince them that they should mark an "X" next to your name on the ballot paper.
In the next few weeks you will see dozens of people traipsing the streets, knocking on doors, handing out leaflets and talking to people, all with the hope of winning support in the election.
Then, once the polling booths open, it is a waiting game – waiting to see if your name is the one which will be declared as the elected councillor in your chosen ward.
And there's no chance to relax, from there you will have to learn the ropes of local government – decide which committees you will sit on and ensure that your local constituents know they can come to you should they need assistance.
Nominations must be received by Cornwall Council by noon on Friday, April 5. To get a nomination pack if you are in the east of Cornwall call 01579 341234 and if you are in the west of the county call 01209 614373.
For more information go to http://cornwall.gov.uk/default. aspx?page=31587