What is the role of a local elected official?

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Cocoparks develops and deploys the benchmark solution for intelligent traffic and parking management


There are over 500,000 local councillors in France, elected directly by French citizens. These representatives of local authority residents have a well-defined place, role and function in the public system. Indeed, the role of a local elected official is to act in the interests of the local population.

Who are the local elected representatives?

Local elected representatives are the decision-makers on local government bodies. In addition, local authorities include communes (conurbations, towns and villages), départements and régions. It should be noted that 99% of local elected representatives are municipal councillors.

Local elected officials are :

    • Members of municipal councils (mayors, deputy mayors and councillors). They are active at commune level (conurbations, towns and villages);

    • Members of departmental councils (Chairman and departmental councillors). They act at departmental level;

    • Members of regional councils (Chairman and regional councillors), they act at regional level.

When are the next local elections?

Municipal, departmental and regional councillors are elected by French voters. Next, municipal councillors elect the mayor and his or her deputies, and departmental and regional councillors elect the president of their respective councils.

All local elected officials (i.e. members of municipal, departmental and regional councils) are elected for a 6-year term. The next municipal elections will be held in 2026, and the departmental and regional elections in 2028.

How is a local authority organized?

Distribution of roles and responsibilities within a community

    1. The mayor is legally responsible for the actions of a commune;
    2. In larger towns, deputy mayors support the mayor, and may also represent him if he is unable to attend (in order of appointment: deputy mayor no. 1…).
    3. Local councillors propose action plans that are voted on at local council meetings. In addition, municipal councils meet at least once every quarter, and the mayor may convene a meeting of the assembly whenever he deems it useful.
    4. The mayor’s office is in charge of press relations and communications.
    5. The DGS is the direct link between the municipal council and the departments. He is the first person to implement the decisions taken by local elected officials.
    6. Then there are the various city services. They vary from city to city, but the services are generally the same.

Depending on the size of the community, a city may not have a mayor’s office or deputy mayors. In addition, some departments, such as the Police Municipale, may be in direct contact with the mayor. This is because the mayor, under the supervision of the prefect, is the only local elected official with jurisdiction over police matters.

Typical local authority organization chart

For example, here is the organization chart for the city of Pantin

Pantin organization chart

Distribution of roles and responsibilities between the local authority and the department or region

Municipal, departmental and regional councils operate in similar ways, but their scope of action varies. Indeed, depending on the area, a subject such as PRM parking may be the responsibility of the commune or the département.

This paragraph describes the organizational chart of a commune, as . The classic organization of a commune presented below is similar for a département or region. The council (municipal, departmental or regional), which has decision-making powers, and the municipal, departmental or regional staff, who implement the decisions taken.

In addition, territorial staff is made up of territorial agents.

What is the role of a local elected official?

As a member of the deliberative bodies of local authorities, a local councillor’s role is to :

    • Make proposals on subjects of local interest;

    • Vote on investments in the municipal budget;

    • Create/remove municipal public services (including elementary and nursery schools);

    • Promoting economic development ;

    • Manage and maintain communal assets (PLU (Plan Local d’Urbanisme), SCOT (Schéma de cohérence territoriale), roads, schools, development and sustainable development projects, etc.);

    • Elect the members of the Board of Directors of the CCAS (Centre Communal d’Action Sociale), whose role is to help the most vulnerable people (disabled, poor or excluded).

Local government and time management

Local elected representatives are entitled to a quarterly lump-sum time credit from their employer (more information here).

What’s more, they benefit from a credit of hours compensated by the state according to the size of their town and their role (more information here).

Elected representatives’ associations

There are many associations of elected representatives; here are the main ones

Who’s in charge of innovation in the city?

Innovation is essential to the development of the community and to making it more attractive and dynamic. This role is taken on by the local elected official in charge of digital issues or the modernization of public action. In some cities, this post has been formally introduced. But in reality, every elected official must innovate to succeed in their mission and improve the area for which they are responsible.

For a “sustainable and connected city” project such as one to revitalize the city center using Cocoparks technology, the stakeholders include elected officials responsible for trade, urban logistics, parking, mobility, sustainable development and public peace.


Observatoire analytique du stationnement

Des data précises, objectives sur le stationnement, enfin !​

Aide au controle

Améliorer l'efficacité du controle avec de la data

Guidage à la place

Apporter un service visible au quotidien pour vos usagers​

L'appli Cocoparks

Le stationnement en temps réel, dans votre poche !​

Collaboration et gestion des arrêtés

Gagnez du temps et en qualité pour transformer la voirie

Optimisation du stationnement

Réorganiser pour améliorer l'attractivité et la sécurité

La tech est au cœur de la solution Cocoparks, par ici pour découvrir notre plateforme technologique


Observatoire analytique du stationnement

Precise, objective parking data, at last!

Control assistance

Improving control efficiency with data

In-place guidance

Provide a visible daily service for your customers

Cocoparks app

Real-time parking in your pocket!

Collaboration and management of orders

Save time and improve quality to transform roadways

Technology platform

Reorganizing for greater attractiveness and safety

Technology is at the heart of the Cocoparks solution. Click here to discover our technological platform.