Councillors - Keeping them informed

Reviewed January 2020

It is your duty to keep all councillors informed about issues affecting their communities. It is also a requirement under our Constitution.

 If significant issues are about to take place or affect the areas they represent, we should be thinking about keeping the local councillor informed before it happens. Councillors should not be finding out from other agencies, parish councils or district and community colleagues.

 When to inform a councillor

If something is about to be opened, closed, begun, stopped, provided or taken away, even temporarily, in their ‘division’ then the councillor should be told before it happens - and even consulted about it in advance where appropriate. They should also be kept in the loop about certain correspondence with district/parish councils and MPs.

 Examples of when to keep councillors informed:

  • Sale or purchase of land in their ‘patch’
  • Proposed roadworks
  • Opening of new county council buildings or road schemes
  • Ceremonies or events
  • Copies of letters/messages sent by Cabinet members or officers in reply to a district or parish councillor
  • Publication of statutory notices affecting their ‘patch’
  • Copies of constituency correspondence from or to a Member of Parliament if the Member of Parliament’s original letter or email message was copied to that councillor or if the MP indicates a willingness for it to be copied to a councillor.

 A phone call or email to give councillors advance notice of things in their area strengthens local democracy and demonstrates a joined-up, member-led approach to delivering our services.

 Councillors have the right to expect this of us. We can also benefit from their community knowledge by consulting them. It is essential that services understand this responsibility and put arrangements in place to make it happen. Your directorate will be reporting regularly on how they are ensuring that the protocol is in place and working.

 Actions you can take: 

Service providers

Service providers may be asked by individual councillors to either meet them or give them factual information concerning projects.

Oxfordshire County Council Corporate Landlord (OCCCL) is happy for this contact to be made subject to the following:

  • Service provider should notify OCCCL before meeting members.
  • Immediately following either a meeting or conversation with members a note of items discussed should be sent to OCCCL.
  • Any written communications to members are routed via or copied to OCCCL as appropriate.
  • No charge is to be made to the council for responding to enquiries from councillors unless agreed in advance by OCCCL.