Could you become a Walford Parish Councillor?
Becoming a councillor is a most rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to help your local community and be part of a dedicated team providing key services for your area.
Being a councillor is a great way to gain political experience and useful skills in public speaking, debating and problem solving.
New councillors are good news; they mean fresh ideas and fresh enthusiasm, and that must be good news for the local area.
To be eligible you must be:
- A British subject or a citizen of the Irish Republic or the EU and resident in the UK.
- At least 18 years old on the day you are nominated.
- Either on the electoral register for the Council area in which you are seeking election, or have lived or worked in that Council area for at least the last twelve months.
In accordance with section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972, a person is disqualified from being elected to a local authority if he/she:
- Is employed by the local authority, holds a paid office under the authority or holds a politically restricted post within a local authority, as defined in Section 2(1) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989; or
- Is subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order; or
- Has within five years before the day of election been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended sentence) without the option of a fine; or
- Has been disqualified under Part III of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which relates to donations and other offences).
Do I have the time?
It is possible to spend much of your time on council work but the vast majority of Councillors have full-time jobs, families and hobbies.
Unless you take on responsibility as a Cabinet Member or a Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a Committee, your work for Walford Parish Council should not involve more than a few meetings a month (although this will depend upon the number of committees/panels for which you volunteer).
In addition to the aforementioned there are Community Consultancy Meetings/Discussions and Public Forums all of which will enable you to engage actively with the local community on local issues.
How much do I need to know?
You are not going to be expected to take direct responsibility for running the council on the first day you are elected! The main qualifications are an interest in your local community and a willingness to learn; knowledge, experience and confidence will soon follow.
Throughout your term as a Councillor you will receive support and assistance as necessary from the Parish Clerk who is a professionally trained member of staff employed by the ‘corporate body’ and who is responsible for ensuring Walford Parish Council carry out their statutory functions and duties within the given legislative guidelines. The Clerk can also assist with training requirements, either offering ‘in-house training or arranging additional training via the County Training Partnership (CTP).
You may also ‘call’ on the experience of a fellow council member, some of whom have been a councillor for a number of years!
Can I afford it?
Walford Parish Council will pay a basic allowance to cover reasonable expenses incurred.
What should I do if I am interested?
You may like to consider attending a Parish Council Meetings which will provide you with ‘firsthand’ experience of how Walford Parish Council conduct council business, giving you a better understanding of the work of a councillor and the commitment involved.
Whilst the term of election is usually for that of a 4 year period, Council member vacancies do occasional occur mid-term, these vacancies are published on the Council Notice Boards, on our web site and in the local press. Such vacancies are then addressed by either means of a Bye-Election or Co-option.
To find out more about becoming a Walford Parish Councillor please click here to contact the Clerk