Becoming a Parish Councillor

Following a recent resignation, there is a vacancy for a Parish Councillor on Sutton Valence Parish Council. Have you ever wanted to contribute more to your community? Want to know what’s actually involved?   Please read on …………….

To appreciate what is involved in being a Parish Councillor you need to know what a Parish Council is, and what it can and cannot do. We have to get the image of the Vicar of Dibley out of our mind and understand that the Parish Council is nothing to do with the Church or the Diocese; nor is it a voluntary and community sector body.

“Your Parish Council is the local authority closest to the electorate”

A Parish Council is a separate legal, corporate entity. First created by the Local Government Act of 1894.

A Parish Council also provides services for the local people. These can range from recreation grounds, play areas, allotments, nature reserves, and a cemetery. What can be provided is down to the Parish Council. There is a list of the activities that a Parish Council has the power to provide. Like any statutory body it can only do the things for which the law or any governing body document gives a power.

The Parish Council has one particular asset that is extremely valuable – it has the ability to set a Precept (sum of money), which is collected from all residents through the Community Charge system.

With the right to levy a form of taxation come some duties. In particular a duty to behave in an ethical manner according to a Code of Conduct (declaring interests and leaving the room when likely to be prejudiced) and a duty to have the annual accounts subjected to audit under the aegis of the Audit Commission.

“Training is available and support will be found from colleagues, the Parish Clerk, as well as from the Kent Association of Local Councils”

You may feel uncertain about the knowledge required to be a Councillor and may feel overawed by those who have done the job for years. Rather like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes – the simple question was the key to what was going on. All good Councillors should use the key word – “Why?” on a regular basis. Remember – training and support is available.

So, if you want to do more for your community, if you want to spend your time productively, and if you can think, listen and act locally – why not consider becoming a Parish Councillor? How? If you are interested in applying for this position please send your CV with a covering letter to Janet Burnett, Parish Clerk, Sutton Valence Parish Council, The Parish Office, Sutton Valence Village Hall, North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent ME17 3HS- telephone 01622 844135, email: clerk@suttonvalence.org.uk

 

 

Legal co-option requirements for becoming a Parish Councillor means you must be able to agree to the following paragraph and are eligible under one of the subsequent criteria:

On the day of my co-option as a Parish Councillor for the above mentioned Parish you qualify as a Commonwealth Citizen, a Citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of another Member State of the European Union, who has attained the age of 18 years and that:

(a)     I am registered as a local government elector in respect of the following address 

(b)     I have during the whole of the 12 months preceding that day or those days occupied as owner or tenant of  land or other premises in the parish

(c)     My principal or only place of work during those 12 months has been in that parish

(d)     I have during the whole of those twelve months resided in that parish or within 4.8 kilometres of it

For the co-option requirements as set by the Parish Council, please click HERE