The Parish Councillor’s role
To understand what is involved in being a Parish Councillor you first need to know what a Parish Council is and what it can and can`t do. A Parish Council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish and is the level of government closest to the community. Parish Councils are the first place that people go to with concerns or ideas and for this reason they are a vital part of any community.
Why become a Parish Councillor?
By becoming a Parish Councillor you become somebody your community will look to for help, guidance and support, a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve. Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you have helped to make, is something that can give you a sense of achievement and pride.
What decisions do Parish Councils make?
The most common areas that Parish Councils get involved in are planning issues, crime prevention keeping the village clean and tidy and reporting issues to District and County levels. Council members also sit on the Joint Burial Committee, which manages the cemetery.
Achievements of our Parish Council include the compilation and publication of a Parish Plan, the development and maintenance of the Queen Elizabeth II Park including children’s playground, obtaining interactive speed signs and other signage for the village, designing and acquiring funding for the village entry signs, the summer/spring floral displays around the village, and much more.
In some respects, Parish Councils may have limited decision-making powers but they can negotiate with and influence those organisations which do make final decisions, such as District and County Councils, health authorities etc. A Parish Council will best reflect how a community thinks and feels and other organisations know this so the Parish Council’s views are taken seriously.
What is a Councillor’s commitment?
The Council meets once a month (excluding August). All meetings are open to the public, who can speak on issues of concern. Meetings are also routinely attended by County and District Councillors and the Police. Occasionally, outside parties are invited to speak on topics of concern such as Bassetlaw DC Planners.
Meetings might last 2-3 hours depending on the length of the agenda of items to be discussed.
How long does a Parish Councillor serve for?
Once elected, Parish Councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years at the end of which they can stand for re-election if they wish. If, during the four years, you find you can no longer meet the commitment, or you move away, you can stand down.
Why not talk to your current Parish Councillors and find out what they think about the job. If you decide you want to become a parish councillor please contact the Chair, any Councillor or the Clerk to the Council. You can also find out more by reading the ‘All About Local Councils’ and ‘What are Parish and Town Councils?’ leaflets on the Other Documents page.