What does a Parish Councillor do and what skills are required?
This is a question often asked. The Parish Council consists of people from many walks of life so they have wide ranging views and therefore bring their life experiences to benefit and represent the people who live in the village.
Firstly and most importantly you would attend the Parish Council Meetings which are held once a month in the Coffee Tavern. At these meetings we discuss many matters but the primary responsibilities of the council are:
- Looking after the environment of the Village, i.e. grass cutting, play areas, cemetery and Church grounds, etc.
- Ensuring that matters involving pavements and roads are brought to the attention of the County or District Council so these can be dealt with.
- We administer an annual budget of some £60,000 and have to plan up to three years in advance.
- Make comments on planning applications (this is the one area where most Parish Councillor’s feel we do not get enough say!)
- Listening to villagers and hopefully helping to bring a practical resolution to the problem or even their aspirations.
- Manage contractors working in the village on behalf of the Council.
The Parish Council employs a part time clerk; who carries out the decision of the council, we also have a handyman who we employ to carry out minor repairs; again it is the clerk’s job to allocate the jobs. Councillors often report problems to the clerk who will then contact the most suitable body.
Besides the Parish Council Meeting there are other committees that meet once a month, but normally two or three times a year.
All in all being a Parish Councillor takes around 4 hours a month, not too much time!
What do you get back?
Well you have real say in what is going on in your village and you can make a difference. Meet other village folk. Be part of a team. Put something back into your neighbourhood. Have a better understanding of how a Parish Council works. Help plan the village for the future and our children.
Your village needs you!
If you are interested in serving your community on the Parish Council please contact the Parish Council Clerk here.