Elections

WOULD YOU MAKE A GOOD PARISH COUNCILLOR?

In May 2017 local parish elections are being held in Wiltshire. Ogbourne St George Parish Council welcomes applicants for the positions of Parish Councillor. There are seven positions for Ogbourne St George and if there are more applicants than positions then an election will be held.

The Parish Council plays a vital role within the Parish of Ogbourne St George. The Parish Council works towards keeping the Parish an attractive place to live and can influence the future of the area.

Here are a few reasons why you should give the role your consideration:
- You would like to help keep the Parish a desirable place to live
- If you’re female then have a good think, as women are underrepresented in local authorities
- You are interested in planning and development
- Be a voice for the people of the Parish
- Training and support are available
- As a resident your opinions are important

What is a Parish Council?
Why become a Parish Councillor?
What decisions do Parish Councils make?
How much time does it take up?
How long does a Parish Councillor serve for?
Am I eligible to be a Parish Councillor?
What powers do parish councils have?
What support is there?
Don’t take our word for it!
Key dates
Further information


What is a Parish Council?
A parish council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. As it is the authority closest to the people, a parish council is invariably the first place people will go with concerns or ideas. For this reason it is a vital part of any community.


Why become a Parish Councillor?
As a parish councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support. A member of the community with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the parish. Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you have helped to make, is something that can give you a sense of achievement and pride. The preservation of the Ogbourne St George is of great importance. The Parish Council helps to ensure the area continues to be a desirable place to live, work and visit.


What decisions do Parish Councils make?
Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect their local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), highways issues and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.

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 Wiltshire District Council. 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?
The Parish Council holds a meeting every other a month in Ogbourne St George Village Hall, to which members of the public are also invited. Meetings usually last one-two hours, depending on the agenda set for the meeting to discuss. In addition to the regular meetings, councillors are occasionally required to attend other meetings representing the Council. Such meetings won’t happen too frequently, so it’s not going to take over your life.


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 be able to stand as a candidate at a parish council election in England or a community council election in Wales you must:
• be at least 18 years old
• be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union, and meet at least one of four qualifications:
• You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the parish/community in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.
• You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish/community area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
• Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the parish/community area.
• You have lived in the parish/community area or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.

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 essentially relate to local matters, such as looking after open parks, play areas, bus shelters, 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.


What support is there?
The Parish Council is supported by the Wiltshire Local Councils Association (WALC), which offers advice and training. The other councillors are friendly and always there to help. The role of the Parish Clerk is to support the Parish Council in several ways. The Clerk acts as legal adviser/researcher, carries out administration tasks and liaises with outside agencies.


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 role.


Key dates
Nominations papers may be submitted from Thursday 16 March 10am – 4pm. Nominations must be submitted by 4pm on Tuesday 4 April 2017, which is the statutory deadline.


Further information
For further details please contact the Parish Clerk:
Georgina Morgan-Denn BA (Hons) MILCM
Email: parishclerk@ogbournestgeorge.org.uk
Website: http://ogbournestgeorge.org.uk/local-government/parish-council/elections
Or visit the Elections area on Wiltshire District Council’s website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/elections-2017 .

Georgina Morgan-Denn BA (Hons) MILCM
Clerk & RFO to Ogbourne St George
Please reply to: parishclerk@ogbournestgeorge.org.uk

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