Parish Council Co-Option
Published: 24 April 2023
Following the outcome of the May 2023 Local Election, there are up to four vacancies to be filled on Medstead Parish Council. We want to find a active, enthusiastic and committed individuals to fill these vacancies to become part of the team.
Background to what is a Parish Council?
A parish council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. It is the level government closest to the community, with the district authority (East Hampshire District Council (EHDC)) above it in the hierarchy.As it is the authority closest to the people, parish councils are invariably the first place people will go with concerns or ideas. For this reason they are a vital part of any community.
Why become a Parish Councillor?If 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 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.
What decisions do Parish Councils make?Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.It’s true to say that on their own, parish councils have limited powers to make decisions. But they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as EHDC, health authorities, police etc.).In this respect parish councils are extremely powerful. 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 once a month for the full council meeting, to which members of the public are also invited. Meetings may last around two hours, depending on the agenda set for the meeting to discuss. Medstead Parish Council have committees to deal with specific subjects such as planning, maintenance and financial issues.
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?To stand for election on a parish council, you must:
To be eligible to stand for an election for a particular parish, you must:
- be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or;
- be a least 18 years old.
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.
- be an elector of the parish, or;
- for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
- during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or;
- for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.
What powers do parish councils have?They have a wide range of powers which 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.
How to apply
Please put together 2 or 3 paragraphs explaining what you enjoy in Medstead with any relevant experience you may have. Please include your address and also your contact details. If the Clerk confirms your eligibility for the role, you will then be invited to attend our 1st June 2023 Full Council meeting to allow you to elaborate on your application. If there are more eligible candidates than positions available, Councillors will hold a confidential ballot to decide on the successful candidate.
Further information can be obtained from the Clerk on 07908 932472 or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org to where applications for consideration should be sent.
The closing date for applications is 19th May 2023.
You may find the following link to the Electoral Commission helpful https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent/parish-and-community-council-elections-in-england-and-wales
If you are a prospective candidate please refer to the Electoral Commission’s guidance:
www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/candidate-or-agent(link is external)
Details of candidates for the forthcoming Local Elections on 4th May 2023 (District & Parish), can be downloaded here.