Join our local team and become a Parish Councillor
Are you passionate about our village? Do you want to help make positive changes? Do you have innovative ideas for the council? Do you have concerns about a specific issue and want to do something about it? If this is you, then we need you. We need people from all parts of the village to reflect their community and to put themselves forward for co-option to the Parish Council.
Following the 2023 Local Council Election process and co-option in May there are still 3 vacancies on Bourton-on-the-Hill’s Parish Council. We are seeking to fill these vacancies by co-option as soon as possible.
No special qualification is required to be a councillor. It is important that all sorts of people serve as councillors so that all parts of our community are represented. Training for new councillors is also available to help you understand the responsibilities of the role.
If you think you’d like to join the Parish Council or would like to know more, please get in touch with any of the Council members or contact our clerk, Kevin: email@example.com We will all be happy to talk with you about the role and what’s involved.
(If more people indicate their interest in becoming a Parish Councillor than the number of vacancies available, candidates will be asked to give a short statement about why they are interested in the role and the Parish Council will make their decision by a majority vote.)
What do Parish Councillors do?
We meet formally around six times a year to discuss and act on issues that are important to the local community.
The Parish Council sets a proportion of local taxes to be spent in the Parish, comments on planning applications in the Parish and runs projects that help maintain, improve or enhance the local area. Becoming a councillor is a rewarding experience as you will be able to make a change in your community to help improve residents’ lives.
What decisions do Parish Councils make?
Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Recently, the Parish Council have been involved with traffic issues, planning matters (they are statutory consultees) and maintaining community spaces.
On their own, parish councils have limited powers to make decisions, but we do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as the district or county council, health authorities, police etc). The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something, and its views will be taken seriously.
How much time does it take up?
Councils usually meet six times a year for the council meeting, to which members of the public are also invited. Meetings may last two or three hours, depending on the agenda set for the meeting to discuss. In addition to the regular meetings, councillors are invited to attend other meetings representing the council, for example with Highways to discuss traffic calming measures.
How long does a parish councillor serve for?
Once elected, parish councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years. If they then want to stay in the post they can stand for re-election.
Am I eligible to be a Parish Councillor?
You have to be:
- a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union
- over 18 years of age
and additionally you have to be one of the following
- a local government elector for the council area for which you want to stand
- have during the whole of the 12 months occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the council area or within 3 miles of it for the whole period
- have during that same period had your principal or only place of work in the council area or within 3 miles of it for the whole period.
You cannot stand for election if you
- are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order.
- have, within five years before the day of the election, 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.
- you work for the council that you want to become a councillor for (but you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area).
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.
What powers do parish councils have?
They have a wide range of powers which are essentially related to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open space, allotments, play areas, street lighting, bus shelters, car parks and much more. The council also has the power to raise money through taxation, the precept. The precept is the parish council’s share of the council tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority, the district council, which collects the tax for the parish council.
Don’t take our word for it!
The best way to find out what it’s like to be a parish councillor is to talk to someone who’s doing it now.
Come along to a parish council meeting, or speak to one of our councillors and find out what they think of the job.