Interested in becoming a Parish Councillor

A full council consists of eight members, from time to time we may have a 'Casual Vacancy' which means there is a vacant voluntary councillor post.

During general election years the whole council stands for re-election in May. In between this period the Parish Council is able to co-opt an eligible candidate to become a Parish Councillor.

Councillor Roles and Responsibilities

List of legal powers and duties Below is an indicative list of powers and functions to help you appreciate the wide range of activities covered by Acts of Parliament (see also Governance and Accountability). It is a useful reference when you need to know if the local council has permission to act but note, no list can be totally comprehensive.

Powers to provide facilities

Parish councils have powers to provide some facilities themselves, or they can contribute towards their provision by others. There are large variations in the services provided by parishes, but they can include the following:

  • Support and encouragement of arts and crafts

  • Provision of village halls

  • Provision and maintenance of recreation grounds, parks, children’s play areas, playing elds and swimming baths

  • Provision and maintenance of cemeteries and crematoria Maintenance of closed churchyards

  • Cleaning and drainage of ponds, watercourses and ditches

  • Control of litter Provision and maintenance of public toilets

  • Creation and maintenance of footpaths and bridleways

  • Provision of cycle and motorcycle parking

  • Acquisition and maintenance of rights of way

  • Provision and maintenance of public clocks

  • Maintenance of war memorials

  • Encouragement of tourism

They may also provide the following, subject to the consent of the county council or unitary authority of the area in which they lie:

  • Bus shelters

  • Signposting of footpaths

  • Lighting of footpaths

  • Off-street car parks

  • Provision, maintenance and protection of roadside verges

Representative powers

Parish councils must be notified by the district or county council of:

    • All planning applications in their areas

    • Intention to provide a burial ground in the parish

    • Proposals to carry out sewerage works

    • Footpath and bridleway (more generally, ‘rights of way’) surveys

    • Intention to make byelaws in relation to hackney carriages, music and dancing, promenades, sea shore and street naming

Miscellaneous powers

In some cases, Parish councils exercise the following powers:

    • Creation of a neighbourhood plan

    • Guardianship of common land

    • Withholding of consent to stop up unclassied highways and footpaths

    • Consultation on appointment of governors of primary schools

    • Appointing trustees of local charities

Homework and Training

Governance and Transparency is an essential element of being involved in the Parish Council. There will be a little bit of homework to do to get to understand this, more information can be found on the Councillor Training Page.

You will be asked to complete a self assessment to identify any training needs, we are also supported by our local and national association of local councils with any training course you may need.

Community engagement

A massive part of what we do is to get to know our community, we would expect you to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in with any projects or events.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Councillor co-option application

  2. This will be reviewed by the council for suitability and legal compliance

  3. A successful applicant will be invited meet the Chair and Clerk for a discussion about the Council responsibilities and Councillor duties

  4. Give a short presentation at a full council meeting

  5. The applicant will be advised on the result of the vote for co-option.