Becoming a Parish Councillor

BECOMING A PARISH COUNCILLOR


  
WILL IT TAKE A LOT OF MY TIME AND MONEY?
It is possible to spend quite a lot of time on council work - but most people have jobs, families and
hobbies which also demand a lot of time.  However, as with most things, the more you put in, the
more you (and your community) will get out.
The times of the meetings vary, as do the venues.  Parish/town councils normally meet during the
evening, although daytime meetings are possible too. It is IMPORTANT to find out about the
pattern of meetings and venues to make sure they can accommodate your domestic and/or
business arrangements.  Most councils meet once a month and many also have committees, in
which case, you would probably be invited to sit on a committee too, and it can be a good way of
‘specialising’ in something in which you have a particular interest.  
Unless you take on responsibility as a Chairman or Vice-Chairman of either the council or a
committee, your workload as a 'back-bencher' should not involve more than one or two evenings
per month.  There may also be outside activities in which the council takes an interest, and you
could be asked to take a share of the duties in representing the council on these 'outside
organisations'.
Parish councillors must be aware of the requirements of the council’s Code of Conduct and the
need to declare an interest in a matter if they have a ‘disclosable pecuniary interest’ in any matters
under consideration.
Being a Councillor should cost you little. There is usually reimbursement for subsistence and
travel allowances if your duties take you out of your local Council's area.  
So - if you want to do more for your community, want to spend your time productively, can
listen and think ‘local’, you may wish to consider becoming a parish/town councillor.

THE ELECTION TIMETABLE
Ordinary elections usually coincide with the election year of the District Council and must be held
on the same day.  In some years they may also fall on the same day as a general election – as is
the case for May 2015.  The interval between local council elections is 4 years, and therefore, if
elected, your term of office will normally be 4 years, unless you stand down mid-term. If a casual
vacancy arises on the council mid-term, and you are elected or co-opted on to the council at that
time, your term of office will run until the next ordinary elections are held.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO STAND FOR ELECTION?
A candidate for a parish or town council is qualified if, when nominated:
(a) he or she is a British subject, Commonwealth citizen or Euronational 
(b) is 18 years of age or over 
and 
(c) is either in the list of electors for that parish/town or has during the whole of the preceding
twelve months (i) occupied land as owner or tenant in it, or (ii) had a principal place of work there,
or (iii) resided in or within three miles of it.

WHAT NEXT?
Please contact the clerk by telephoning 01529 497552 or email
folkinghamclerk@gmail.com if you require any additional information. Further details are
also available on the Parish Council webpage.