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How councillors, MPs and committees work

What are councillors?

Councillors are people elected by local residents to represent the views of their local community. There are many different types of councillors across the UK but in the East Riding we have a number of ward and parish councillors.

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What are wards and parishes?


The East Riding is divided into 26 wards, each of which is represented by one, two or three elected councillors. These councillors form part of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and make decisions for the whole of the East Riding.

East Riding Ward Map (pdf 2.11mb opens in new window)


Each ward is divided up into a number of parishes. Each parish has a parish or town council which is made up of a number of parish councillors who represent the views of their parish and made local decisions.

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What do councillors do?

Councillors act as the link between the public and the council they are elected to serve. Much of a councillor’s time is spent dealing with any problems and questions from their local community. Councillors play an important role in planning, running, monitoring, and developing council business.

Councillors work to improve the quality of life for people within their area and make decisions about local issues. They have to decide what is in the public interest among a range of conflicting issues and views. Councillors usually represent a political party, however, they can be independent. All councillors represent all the citizens in their ward or parish, not just the people who voted for them.

For more information on ward councillors visit the ward councillors page.

For more information on parish councils visit the parish and town councils page.

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What are MPs?

The UK is divided up into over 600 constituencies. Each constituency is represented by one elected Member of Parliament (MP) who represent the views of their local constituents in the House of Commons (Parliament).

For more information on MPs visit the MPs page.

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What are committees and who makes decisions?

The full council (a meeting of all ward councillors) is the strategic body, responsible for all decisions and oversees all of the work of the council, more information on the council page.

The day to day decision making is undertaken by a number of committees made up of a number of ward councillors. The Cabinet makes most of the day to day decisions whilst other committees have specific decision making powers for things such as planning applications, taxi licenses, licensed premises and education appeals. Decisions are therefore made by a whole committee of elected councillors. No individual councillor has any decision making authority.

To view information on specific individual committees please visit the committees page.

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How do I get involved?

If you are not happy about something in your local community or feel that something should be done for the benefit of local residents then you should contact your local parish or ward councillor.

To contact your local parish councillor visit the parish council finder.

To contact your local ward councillor visit the ward councillor finder 

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