Skip to main content

Become a councillor

What are town councils?

Town councils (and parish and community councils) form the first tier of local government in England and Wales.  Town councils are statutory bodies and their activities are governed by legislation. Town councillors (sometimes called members)  are people who live or work locally and are immersed in their community.  They are elected by the people on the electoral register in their area usually every four years.

Town councils vary in size, activities and in the populations they represent.  Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council represents a population of 21,500 (Census 2021) and has 21 council seats.

Town councils have the power to raise a “precept” (a kind of council tax), they may also charge for some services and apply for grants and other funding. This income allows the town council to conduct its business.

What do town councils do?

Town councils and councillors are concerned with the wellbeing of their local community.  Their most important work concerns:

  • delivery of services
  • improving the quality of life for residents
  • giving communities a democratic voice.

Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council runs numerous different  service.  Some current examples include allotments and a community orchard, soft landscaping services, dog bins,  play and youth activities, community grants, public toilets, community events, advice and information and many others.

The town council participates in local planning eg by sponsoring Neighbourhood Development Plans and participating in the Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Deal.  The town council also works collaboratively with a range of different partners.

What do town councillors do?

Town councillors are “ordinary” members of the community who are keen to improve the lives of  residents and to make a real change.   They voluntarily take public office when they become councillors and are expected to abide by a code of conduct.   Town councillors are unpaid (although elected councillors are eligible for a small allowance to meet some of the expenses of being a councillor).

The work of local councillors falls into three broad areas:

  • decision-making
  • monitoring
  • being involved locally.

Our town councillors pay attention to local needs of residents, organisations and businesses.  They make decisions on local services, collaborate with our  unitary authority (Milton Keynes City Council) and progress projects to invest in the future of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford.

Listen to our current Town Councillors share their experiences of being a councillor in our community

Councillor Ethaniel Kelly-Wilson explains what it's like to be a Town Councillor
Councillor Terry Stephens explains what it's like to be a Town Councillor

How to become a councillor

Bletchley and Fenny Stratford is a very diverse community and needs an enthusiastic body of councillors who are representative of that diversity.  Local councils can only be as helpful, connected and energetic as the people elected to run them, so we need councillors who are capable, enthusiastic and engaged to reflect their communities.

To stand for election to the town council you must be:

  • a UK or Commonwealth citizen; or be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or be a citizen of another Member State of the European Union
  • at least 18 years old on the day of the election
  • an elector of Bletchley and Fenny Town Council area; or in the past 12 months have occupied land or other premises in our area (as owner or tenant); or work in our area (as your principal or only place of work) or live within three miles of the council boundary.

You do not need to have any specific skill set and you do not need to be a member of a political party.  Our existing councillors often had differing views but they are united in wanting to make a difference to Bletchley and Fenny Stratford. 

It is wise to find out as much as possible about the role of town councillor at Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council before deciding to stand.  You can find out more information about this here – or you can visit the town clerk to have an informal chat about what’s involved. Please email Delia Shephard at or call 01908 649469.

You can also find out more about becoming a councillor on The Electoral National Association of Local Councils Commission, and Local Government Association websites.

What makes a good councillor?

  • Commitment
  • Promoting the work of the council
  • Representing views of the community
  • Leadership and team work
  • Balanced decision making
  • Strong listening skills

Further information:

Code of Conduct