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Becoming a Councillor


March 2016

THE PARISH COUNCIL ARE SEEKING TWO CANDIDATES TO FILL VACANT POSITIONS ON THE COUNCIL CAUSED BY RECENT RESIGNATIONS. More details may be seen here
See below for information about the role of a councillor

Make a Difference in your Community - Become a Parish or Town Councillor


Parish Council elections are due to be held in 7th. May 2015.
The Councillor nomination period closes on 9 April at 4pm.

There are 10,000 community, parish and town councils in Englond and Wales, controlled by
Acts of Parliament and they are responsible for the most local of matters. Importantly, they
can "precept" - raising a sum collected with the council tax each year to improve facilities
and services for local people,

Parish,town and community councils in England and Wales have a number of basic
responsibilities in making the lives of local communities more comfortable, many of which are
often taken for granted. Essentially these powers fall within three main categories:-

Representing the whole electorate within the parish:
Delivering services to meet local needs; and
Striving to improve quality of life in the parish.

Individual powers include traffic calmirg measures, local youth projects, tourism activities, leisure facilities. car parks, village greens, public lavatories, litter bins, street lighting, street cleaning, burial grounds, allotments, bus shelters, commons, opens spaces, footpaths, bridle ways, and crime reduction measures.

Community, parish and town councils can also comment on planning applications - they are statutory consultees and can be represented at public inquiries.


The Role of a Councillor

What is a Councillor?

Councillors are elected to represent an individual geographical unit on the council. known as a ward or - mainly in smaller parishes - the entire parish or town council area. They are generally elected by the public every four years.

What do Councillors do?

Councillors have three main components to their work:-

Decision making - Through meetings and attending committees with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services
should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.

Monitoring - Councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.

Getting involved locally' - As local representatives, councillors have reponsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations" These responsibilities and duties often depend on what the councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available, and may include going to meetings of local organisations such as tenants' associations, and organisations affecting the wider community; taking up issues on behalf of members of the public, running surgeries for residents to bring up issues, and meetng with individual residents in their own homes.

How much times does it take up?
Quite often councillors say that their duties occupy them for about three hours a week. Obviously there are some councillors who spend more tine than this - and some less, but in the main, being a community, parish and town councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community, and helping to make it a better place to live and work.

Am I qualified ?
Yes - most people are. However there are a few rules. You must be:-

A British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union;

On the 'relevant date' (ie the day on which you are nominated, or, if there is a poll, on the day of the election) be 18 years of  age or over.  Also:

Be a local government elector, for the Council area for which you want to stand, on the 'relevant date';

or have occupied as owne€r or tenant any land or other premises in the council area during thc whole of the 12 months preceding that day;

or had your principal or only place of work in the council area during that same period;

or have resided in the council area during that 12 month period;

You con also satisfy the criteria to be elected if you have lived in the council area or within 4.8km of it for the whole of the l2  months preceding the 'relevant date.'

You cannot stand for election if :

You are the subject of of bankruptcy restriction order or interim order.

You have, within five years b€efore the day of the election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether susp€ended or not) 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 (but you can work for other local authorities that represent the same area).

But I'm too young ....

Some parish councils also run youth councils, comprising a number of young people representing their local schools and colleges.

They are granted their own political forum by having a space and a time to meet and discuss matters that affect them. These youth
councils are in direct communication with their parish councils so they can also be involved in decision-making . lf there is not a scheme, or a parish youth forum in your community, get together with friends and put a proposal to your local community, parish or town council.


Further information
Visiting your council is the best way to find out what happens there. Give the council a call and find out when its next public meeting will take place. The Councillor nomination period closes on 9 April at 4pm - your parish council may be able to supply nomination forms and / or district / borough contact information.

Our Parish Clerk is
Mr Bob Pannell
21 Baldwin Road
King's Lynn
PE30 4AL
Telephone 01553 775724

or

call the Norfolk Association of Local Councils on 01603 638496 or go to www.norfolkalc.gov.uk