Town and parish councillors are democratically elected for a 4 year term of office by the communities they represent.
- They are supposed to be community leaders
- This means getting involved within the community
- They represent all members of the community NOT just those who voted for them
- Town and parish councils are part of local government
- Councils and councillors are governed by statute (Laws)
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- This is a common misunderstanding
- Town and parish councils are local councils which are part of local government not clubs, resident associations or charities
- Local councils have the power to tax their communities
- They do not receive a salary and are not an employee of the council
- Councillors may claim allowances in addition to reclaiming out of pocket expenses
- Town and parish councillors are democratically elected representatives of their communities
- They do not volunteer to sit on the town or parish council but stand for election to their council
- Town and parish councillors are not paid but may “volunteer” their time for free
- Good town and parish councillors should be community leaders who represent all of their community not just those who voted for them
- Town and parish councillors are supposed to be community leaders
- This means getting involved within the community not sitting in meetings making decisions
- A myth seems to have arisen that councillors once elected cannot do anything and it is the town or parish clerk as the proper officer who must do everything
- This shows a deep misunderstanding of the role of the council, the clerk and councillors
- Whether it be running a youth centre, setting up a new nature reserve or promoting energy saving in the community parish councillors can do things
- However a degree of care is required by councillors
- The parish clerk is an employee of the council and should work with the councillors to action the decisions of the town or parish council
- Your parish councillors are those individuals democratically elected to represent the electors in your parish.
- Despite have the power to tax residents the legislation is rooted in a bygone era.
- Bizarrely there is no requirement that these crucial details are freely available and published in your parish
- There is however a legal requirement that the names and addresses of your parish councillors are publicly available from your principal authority (Unitary, District and County councils) monitoring officer
- The lack of publicity regarding councillor contact details is frequently one of the signs of a very poor or moribund parish council
Residents and electors should ask themselves why this is and has happened.
Quite simply what are they hiding?
To find out who your parish councillors are you could...
- Wander round your community hoping that their names are on the parish notice board,
- Hope that the parish council has a web site and that your councillors details are shown,
- Contact your parish clerk and ask for their details.
- The clerk may refuse to give them to you!
- Contact your local monitoring officer who will supply your councillors contact details.
This is a ridiculous state of affairs in a representative democracy
It is a sign that you have a poor quality parish council
- Town and parish councillors are elected by the residents of their community
- Town and parish councils are part of local government and as such they and the councillors are governed by statute
- Town and parish councils are about the local community they exist to serve
- Almost all Parish and Town Councils are run without "party politics" being involved
- There is no legal requirement to be a member of any political party
- In legal terms a duty means that you must do something
- A power means that you may do something
- Collectively town and parish councillors are the decision makers for town and parish councils
- They are elected for a 4 year term of office at ordinary elections
- They must also comply with the law and not become disqualified as a parish councillor
- This includes complying with the code of conduct
- It should be remembered that parish councillors are elected representatives, not employees or volunteers
- In legal terms the duties placed on parish councillors are few
- Probably the most important is to obey the legal summons to attend parish council meetings
- There are no differences between Town and Parish councillors
- The law is the same for Town and Parish councillors
- There is more to being a town or parish councillor than the legal duties
- Councillors are usually elected at ordinary elections
- If a councillor dies or resigns this creates a casual vacancy which results in a by-election
- There is a difference between the election of a councillor and the town mayor or parish council chairman
- The Chairman is elected for a 1 year term by those councillors present at the annual meeting of the town or parish council
- When elected at an Ordinary parish council election, Parish Councillors serve a 4 year term of office
- If a Parish Councillor is elected in a bye-election or co-opted to the parish council to fill a casual vacancy they serve until the next ordinary election
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