What is a Parish Council?
There are around 9,000 parish and town councils representing around 16 million people across England. They form the most local level (first tier) of government and cover many rural and urban areas.
What is a Parish Councillor?
Parish Councillors represent the people living in local areas at the closest level to the community. When decision are being made about the services provided by the Parish Council, they are there to put your views across. Parish Councillors are generally elected by the public every four years. Further information on Parish Council’s can be found here.
What do Councillors do?
Councillors hold a position of public office with which comes responsibilities to attend all the meetings of the council and to abide by the seven principles (or Nolan principles) of public life being:
Councillors are required to promote and maintain high standards of conduct when they are representing the council and are required to:
• Treat others with respect
• Not to bully or behave in an intimidatory manner
• Not seek to improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on others
• To use the resources of the Council in accordance with its requirement; and
• Not to disclose confidential information
The day-to-day work of a councillor may include:
- going to meetings of local organisations
- going to meetings of bodies that affect the wider community, such as the police, the Highways Authority, schools and colleges
- bringing parishioners concerns to the attention of the council
How much time does it take up & when?
On average, three-five hours a week. Obviously, there are some councillors who spend more time than this and some less, but in the main, being a parish councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place in which to live and work. Council meetings are always held in the evening – as are most meetings of the other groups which councillors attend on the Council’s behalf.
Talking and listening to your fellow parishioners can be done at any time but you must be able to spend a couple of hours once a month on a Monday evening attending the Council meeting. The Council’s schedule of meetings is on the home page. All Council business is circulated electronically, so having a home computer/ipad will assist you in your role. Councillors are expected to have read all paperwork sent to them via the Clerk before attending meetings. So that Councillors are fully informed before making decisions on behalf of their residents.
Still interested? Have a look at the Good Councillor Guide 2018
To stand for election:
You must: –
- A British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union; and
- 18 years of age or over on the day you become nominated for election; and
- Live or work in or near (3 miles) the Parish
You cannot stand for election if you: –
- Are subject to a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order;
- Have, within five years before the day of election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment for a period of over three months without the option of a fine;
- You work for the Council you want to become a Councillor for.
Councillors can be automatically disqualified if they do not attend meetings for six consecutive months. To avoid this, councillors, need to submit reasons for their non-attendance and their council has to accept and minute the reasons for non-attendance. If their reasons are not accepted, they face automatic disqualification.
The next ordinary elections is Thursday 2 May 2019. To nominate yourself for election, please contact Eastleigh Borough Council’s election services on https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/council/elections-and-voting/elections and they will advise you on the nomination process should you wish to put yourself forward for election. You do not have to be a member of a political party to put yourself forward.
If you would like more information on becoming a Councillor, please contact the Parish Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org