Why become a Parish Councillor?

If you’ve never been to a parish council meeting before, you may be forgiven for thinking that Parish Councillors are a group of (probably older) people who meet now and then in a draughty village hall.  If, however, you live in a community where something ‘big’ has happened, you’ll know that when people in the community need support and guidance, it is sometimes the Parish Council that is turned to.

By becoming a Parish Councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve. 

Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you have helped make, is something that can give you a sense of achievement and pride.

How much time does it take up?

Cranfield Parish Council usually meets twice a month, on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  Meetings are scheduled to last two hours and are open to members of the public.  Occasionally extraordinary meetings of the Council are called to deal with specific issues and Councillors may attend meetings with third parties, such as suppliers or Central Bedfordshire Council.

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 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 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 and complete the Register of Interests which is held at Central Bedfordshire Council and available to the public.

If you think you would like to become a Parish Councillor why not come along to a meeting to see what happens?  If you wish to apply to become a Councill please complete the application form and return it to the Clerk.

 

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