It was straight down to business for members of Wellingborough Council on 10 May as they attended an induction day in the council chamber.
Following the excitement of last Thursday's elections, councillors wasted no time in beginning their terms of office at an information day designed to give both those retaining their seats, as well as the eight new faces, an overview of council work.
All the key issues were covered, giving the councillors information about the structure of the council, budgets, planning and amenities services, as well as the roles of national and regional government. Councillors were also told about the code of conduct and given information about standards, training, IT use and allowances. During lunch they had the chance to chat to council officers and an afternoon seminar focused on councillor skills such as ward work and surgeries.
Joe Hubbard, Chief Executive of Wellingborough Council said: "The public have voted for the people they want to represent them, and we need to make sure that they have all the information and expertise necessary to do that job the best they can, whether it's understanding the committee system or knowing how to access the council's IT network. The induction day is an opportunity for all councillors, whether they've served for years or are here for the first time, to hone and refresh their skills and ask questions."
Cllr Adam Henley, Labour councillor for the Queensway ward said: "I previously served on the council from 1999-2003 and it's been interesting today to see what has changed in the eight years since I was last here, and what hasn't. It's really important to know all the guidelines and procedures so that we can make the council relevant to the people we represent. I'm looking forward to having regular contact with the public, and I won't shy away from making challenges or decisions that will benefit the majority."
Cllr Jon-Paul Carr, Conservative councillor for the Irchester ward said: "This is my first time as a councillor and there's a lot of information to take in, but I strongly believe in doing things to help people to the best of my ability. I don't have a magic wand or a pot of gold but I'll always be available to listen and build partnerships and act in the best interests of the community and Wellingborough as a whole. Coming in as a new councillor I hope I'll be able to bring a different perspective - I can't wait to get stuck in and take the opportunity to break down barriers."
Councillors will meet again tomorrow to decide on key roles and membership of committees. All committee members, along with the new Mayor and the council's leader and deputy leader, will be officially appointed at the annual council meeting on 24 May.