PARISH COUNCIL VACANCY

Parish councils depend on local people taking an interest in what happens in their community, whatever their background, local people standing as councillors can bring a wealth of knowledge and community understanding into the local team.

Leigh Parish Council currently has 4 Councillors (need 5) who have represented the Parish since the last election in 2015. These Councillors remain in office for a four year term.

The population of Leigh Parish Council will increase with the suggested house building within the Parish. The parish is mainly made up of three distinct areas, Coombe Hill, The Leigh village and the houses along the A38. It would be desirable to have residents from each of these areas to serve on the council so that local views or concerns can be discussed. At present we do not have anyone from The Leigh Village.

 A Parish Council is the elected local authority.  It is the tier of local government that is closest to the people. It is not a voluntary organisation, a charity or something to do with the Church. 

WHAT CAN THEY DO? 

Parish Councils can only act within the law by exercising those powers and functions that have been conferred on them by Statutes (i.e. Acts of Parliament). The range of powers Parish Councils have are limited. They have the right to be consulted by the Local Planning Authority on all planning applications in their area. This range of powers continue to change and proposals originally outlined in the Local Government White Paper 2006 which set out the government’s plans to reinvigorate local politics by giving more power to councils and communities continues.

The Parish Council can raise money by various means to do its work.  Mainly it gets its funds through a levy (Precept) on the Council Tax payers in the Parish. This Precept it collected by the District/Borough Council on the Parish Council’s behalf.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A PARISH COUNCILLOR?

The main thing is that you and your fellow Councillors have an active interest and concern for your local community. You will represent local people and, if necessary, work in partnership with them and others. Collectively you will want to facilitate the provision of local services and facilities and take decisions that form the policy of the Council.

As a new Councillor you will bring to the Council fresh enthusiasm and new ideas, a care for your community and a willingness to learn. Initially, of course, you may have little knowledge of Council work but this, together with experience and confidence, will follow.

WILL IT TAKE A LOT OF MY TIME?

It is possible to spend a lot of time on council work, but most people have jobs, families and hobbies that also demand a lot of time. However, as with most things, the more you put in, the more you (and your community) will get out.

As a member of Leigh Parish Council you would be asked to:

  • Attend all monthly Parish Council meetings to debate and make decisions on issues that affect the Parish. Quarterly updates are given on the finances of the Parish Council and it is all of the Councillor’s responsibility to monitor and agree the income and expenditure against the agreed budget. In December and January the budgets for the following year are prepared and agreed by council members. Audit checks are also made by some councillors to ensure that everything is in order.
  • Volunteer to be a part of any sub-committee or working party set up by the Council.
  • Attend other meetings if requested e.g. Tewkesbury Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Council.
  • Examine and comment on all planning applications sent to the Parish Council. Applications for large developments can contain a substantial amount of paper work that needs to be read and understood.
  • Attend any Training sessions deemed necessary by the Council. There is also a requirement for a member of the Parish Council to attend meetings/seminars arranged by Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils and Gloucestershire Rural Community Council.
  • Take an active interest in all parts of the Parish and surrounding areas.

Each week emails will be sent out by the Clerk and these will need to be read and if necessary responded to. Some emails may contain large attachments which may take some time to read and digest.

The Parish Council also runs a web site which is kept up to date with useful information for residents.

Part of an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) is within our parish boundary and therefore of interest to the Council. This is an enclosed area of protected meadow land owned privately but with a public right of way footpath through the field. The meadow is sited next to the old Coombe Hill Canal. The parish council together with English Nature want this area to continue and hope to be able to reduce negative effects that might arise through increased visitor pressure from future residents

IF YOU WISH TO STAND AS A COUNCILLOR YOU MUST SATISFY THESE REQUIREMENTS:

  • You need to be over 18 years of age
  • On the Electoral Register for the parish or have worked in the area for the preceding 12 months
  • A citizen of the European Union
  • A local government elector of the parish; or a person who during the whole of the 12 months before nomination as a candidate occupied land or other premises as owner or tenant in the parish. Or has, during the same period, resided in that area or within 3 miles thereof, or has during the same period, had a principal or only place of work in that area

YOU CANNOT STAND FOR ELECTION IF YOU:

  • Are bankrupt and an Order or Interim Restriction Order has been imposed
  • Have, within the past five years, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine
  • Work for the council where you are intending to stand for election (but you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area)

WHAT NEXT?

 If You Want To Do More for Your Community – If You Want To Spend Your Time Productively – If You Can Think, Listen and Act Locally – then BECOME A PARISH COUNCILLOR.

Read the Notice of Co-option document

Please contact Kate Tilling, the Clerk via email to register your interest and receive the Co-option paperwork. CLOSING DATE for Applications is 5pm on Monday 18th February 2019

 

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