PARISH COUNCIL VACANCIES
The parish council is seeking to co-opt 3 new councillors. If you care about Acton, want to help shape its future and are willing to give time to work for the community please consider becoming a parish councillor. You can get the application form from the link below:
Co-option application form Please send this to the clerk at email@example.com.
Read on to find out more about becoming a parish councillor.
COULD I BE A PARISH COUNCILLOR?
Being a parish councillor is a great opportunity to work for the community and help decide how to meet the concerns of residents and what is best for Acton. Councillors are community leaders and should represent the aspirations of the public that they serve. Most importantly, you need to have the concerns and best interests of the parish as a whole at heart.
Parish councils are the most local part of our democratic system and are closest to the public. Councillors are there to consider the information gathered and make a group decision on all matters, keeping in mind the best interest of the community as a whole. No individual councillor is responsible for any single decision.
If you would like to become a parish councillor please speak to any of our current councillors or the clerk. There is useful information online such as The National Association of Local Councils and Ask Your Council.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE UP AND WHEN?
On average, a few hours a week. Some councillors spend more time than this and some less but all are expected to do something. In the main, being a parish councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work. Council meetings are normally held in the evening as are most meetings of the other groups which councillors attend on the Council’s behalf.
Talking and listening to your fellow parishioners can be done at any time but you must usually be able to attend council meetings which are every two months. In Acton meetings take place on the second Monday of the month at 7pm at the Village Hall, or during Covid, via zoom. In general, to save costs and save eating into councillors’ time more than necessary, we try to avoid separate committee meetings and cover all work at council meetings. However additional meetings are held when needed (eg HR group) or where the next ordinary parish council meeting would be too late (eg planning applications).
You may be asked to represent the parish council’s views at meetings elsewhere either regularly or on an occasional basis and all councillors are expected to attend training or briefing sessions (usually 2-3 times a year). In your first few months there will also be training for new councillors, aimed at helping you find your feet and to learn what parish councils can and can’t do.
WHAT SKILLS WILL I NEED TO BE A PARISH COUNCILLOR?
Parish councils benefit from diversity and we welcome interest from people of different ages, backgrounds, experiences and abilities. Good communication skills, problem solving, analytical thinking and being a team player are all useful skills, and it doesn’t matter whether you acquired these from your professional life or from community, voluntary or life experience. The most important thing is that you care about Acton and are willing to take an active role.
All councillors are required to abide by the Code of Conduct and by law they must register any financial, business and other interests in the parish.
WHO CAN BECOME A COUNCILLOR?
Anyone can stand as a candidate provided they meet the qualification requirements. To be able to stand as a candidate at a parish council election you must be at least 18 years old, be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union, and meet at least one of the following four qualifications:
a. You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the parish in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.
b. You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
c. Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the parish area.
d. You have lived in the parish area or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
AM I EXCLUDED FROM STANDING?
You cannot become a Councillor if:
- have been declared bankrupt within the last five years if you have not repaid your debts.
- have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment (whether suspended or not) without the option of a fine within the last five years.
- you have been disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices.