Stand up for what you believe in
By becoming a parish councillor you become someone 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. What matters to you? What needs changing in the Parish of Earnley – you could be the person to change it!
You will help:
- Decide on how much to raise through the council tax in order to deliver your council’s services, this is known as the Precept
- Influencing and shaping the long term development policy for the parish, and as part of the planning process, comment on planning applications in the parish.
- Improve the quality of life and the environment of your local area.
- Work to identify issues which are important to the lives of the residents of the parish.
- Work to bring about improvements through local projects, lobbying other service providers and working in partnership with other parishes and agencies.
If you are thinking about becoming a councillor then we are happy to chat about what is involved and the best way for find out what is like to be a parish councillor is to talk to someone who is doing it now Cllr Keith Martin the Chairman is more than happy to discuss what is involved and why he became a councillor give him a call on 07940569643 and the Parish Clerk Louise Chater is happy to chat through the requirements on 01243 203040.
You are welcome to attend any of the public meetings to see how we operate, you will see that we are a friendly bunch and we look forward to welcoming you.
There are various publications that can assist you with our decision: It takes All Sorts, All About Local Councils, What Are Local Councils , Localism in Practice, Working with Government to Help Communities Help themselves beacouncillor.co.uk
If you decide to become a parish councillor training is available and you will be given plenty of support from you fellow councillors and the Clerk.
Am I eligible to become a Parish Councillor?
Parish Councillors are either elected or co-opted onto the parish council. The ordinary elections are held every four years.
To stand for election on a parish council, you must:
- be a UK or Commonwealth citizen; or
- be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland; or
- be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union; and
- be at least 18 years old.
- To be eligible to stand for an election for a particular parish, you must:
- be an elector of the parish; or
- in the past 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish; or
- work in the parish (as your principal or only place of work); or
- live within three miles of the parish boundary.
You don’t have to be connected to a political party.
If you do become a parish councillor you will have to sign up to the Code of Conduct.
Once elected, parish councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years. If you want to stay on the parish council then you can stand for re-election.
However, this does not mean you have to stay for four years. If you find it is not for you, or you can no long meet the commitment, you can stand down.
How much time does it take up?
Earnley Parish Councils full council meeting takes place bi-monthly and the Planning Committee meets monthly excluding August and December these meetings take place on the fourth Thursday of the month. All the meetings are open to the public and they may last two or three hours, depending on what’s on the list of items to discuss, the agenda for the meeting is advertised on the noticeboards and the website.
The Parish Council also has several committees, the Employment Committee meets twice a year. The Code of Conduct Committee and the Complaints Committee meet as required (hopefully they are not required)
In addition to the regular meetings Councillors are required to give time for ‘ad hoc’ meetings – for example with architects or agents to discuss planning applications that the council must give its opinions on.
It is not just boring meetings!
Working with the residents and other volunteer organisations to improve where we live and to build a community is one of the key objectives of Earnley Parish Council below are some images of the activities the councillors get involved in.