What does a Parish Councillor do?
A Parish Councillor takes part in the decision-making process of the Parish Council about issues affecting residents in the parish.
These issues include planning applications and other matters, litter and dog-fouling, anti-social behaviour, grass-cutting, play areas, community facilities, lighting, road maintenance and traffic issues.
Residents may contact a Parish Councillor about an issue, and it is then the duty of the Parish Councillor to report this to the Clerk either for action if it is an urgent matter, or for the attention of the full Parish Council at the next meeting, by being an item on the Agenda.
A Parish Councillor acts as part of a body - the Parish Council - and has no power to act individually on behalf of the Parish Council unless agreed by all Councillors.
A Parish Councillor must be over 21, an elector in the parish and qualifies by:
- residing in the parish during the whole 12 months before either the day of nomination or the day of the election;
- residing within 3 miles of the parish;
- occupying as owner or tenant any land or premises there;
- having a principal or only place of work there.
A Parish Councillor is an elected representative of the parish, and the role is voluntary. Parish Councillors, once elected, are subject to the Code of Conduct governing all members of local authorities.
It is the duty of a Parish Councillor to attend every full Parish Council meeting (held monthly on the 2nd Monday of each month) or have a valid reason for not doing so.
A Parish Councillor can choose, or be invited, to be a member of Parish Council Committees, currently Planning & Environmental, Finance & Grants, Personnel & Liasion, Highways, & Public Areas,. The Planning Committee meets monthly (4th Monday of each month) if there are planning applications to consider. The other Committees meet as and when required.
Decisions - particularly if a decision is to spend part of the parish precept (budget) - are made at Parish Council meetings only, and, if necessary, by a majority vote. In the event of a tie, the Chairman has a casting vote.
A Parish Councillor can give as much time as is available to the role, by attending relevant meetings and courses held by outside bodies as well as local events such as the Shortstown Fun Day or Cotton End Show, as a representative of the Parish Council.