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Becoming a Parish Councillor

We need members of the community to join the Parish Council

Can you help with:
– Ideas to benefit the community
– Where to award grants
– How to spend the funds assigned to community projects
– How to improve the Village Hall
– How to benefit all areas of the community

BECOMING A PARISH COUNCILLOR

Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council deliver and facilitate projects and services that make a positive difference to the community. The Parish Council aims are to support and improve the quality of life for the parish of Temple Cloud and Cameley.

As a Parish Councillor you help make decisions as part of a democratic team on how to use the resources and powers of the council for the benefit of the local community. The council have many legal powers to improve life for the local community, some of these relevant to our parish include provision of services and community assets like open spaces, village halls, community gardens or growing facilities, maintenance of footpaths, consulting on local planning applications, crime prevention, fetes and events, lighting, litter bins, recreation facilities and war memorials.

As a Parish Councillor, you will probably be one of the closest points of contact in the democratic system of local government accessible to the local residents. Councillors are community leaders who care about the local residents they represent. It helps to be good at listening and approachable, sharing your views in a collaborative approach to bring about the best outcomes for all parts of the community.

If you would like to become a Parish Councillor please speak to any of our current Councillors or contact the Parish Council Clerk. You may also find The Good Councillors Guide useful.

Ambitions of Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council

You can help shape and implement the ambitions of the council over the next 5 years. The council have published an action plan which highlights the current projects and actions we have planned for the next 12 months along with objectives for the next 3 to 5 years.

http://www.templecloud.org.uk/documents/action-plan

Some of the ambitions in the action plan are:

  • Improvement of local leisure facilities (including a proposal for a pump track)
  • Eastcourt Woods Footpath
  • Village Hall Repairs and Development
  • Community Engagement
  • Financial planning for future projects
  • Litter – improving the environment

Do you have any ideas you would like to add, or ways we could improve our projects and services? We are looking for people who can bring ideas and make decisions about the future of the the Parish.

How much time will it take?

On average, a few hours a week, but you may be able to contribute more or less than this, but all councillors are expected to do something. You must usually be able to attend the monthly Council meeting. Meetings take place on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm at the Village Hall. We try to avoid separate meetings and cover all work at the Council meeting, sometimes working parties or commitees are held if there is more work to do like special projects or budget planning. You can talk and listen to members of the parish at any time and it can help if you have shared interests and activities with some of the diverse range of people in the community.

Councillors are expected to attend training, which maybe 1 to 3 times a year. In your first few months, we aim to provide training for new councillors which is provided by Avon Local Council Association. This helps you discover how a council works, what you can and cant do as a council and councillor and how best to contribute to your local area.

What knowledge or skills do I need?

Parish Councils benefit from a diverse range of people and we welcome interest from all areas of the community – different ages, backgrounds, experiences and world views. You may have different skills and knowledge that can support the parish council, good communication skills and a collaborative approach really help. There may be other skills or knowledge you can bring to the council from work or life experiences, such as problem-solving, analytical thinking, networking, practical skills, working with people, being able to research a subject, financial understanding. Being a community leader is about having an enthusiasm to serve the residents you represent and being able to understand a range of different viewpoints. The Clerk is available to advise on procedures, policies and legal matters so you do not need this knowledge to get started.

All Councillors are required to abide by the Code of Conduct (available here) and by law you must register financial, business and other interests in the Parish.

How can I become a councillor?

There are two routes – election and co-option:

Normal elections are held every 4 years, the last election for Temple Cloud with Cameley was held in 2019. Electors can identify potential councillors and nominate candidates for election. To continue as concillors all existing councillors stand for re-election. People are encouraged to vote and elect councillors to represent their interests.

Outside of an election, if there is a vacancy on the council and an election is not required, you can be co-opted as a new member. This involves the council members voting to co-opt you as a new member during one of the council meetings.

Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council currently have vacancies and are actively encouraging new members to be co-opted.

What are the requirements?

Anyone can stand as a candidate provided they meet the qualification requirements. You should be:

  • aged over 18;
  • a British, Commonwealth Citizen or Citizen of an EU country;
  • a registered elector

and have:

  • been Resident for 12 months prior to the day of election/co-option – either in the parish or within 3 miles of the boundary, or;
  • occupied land or premises for 12 months as owner or tenant – either in the parish or within 3 miles of the boundary, or;
  • had a principal place of work – either in the parish or within 3 miles of the boundary.

Am I excluded from standing?

You cannot become a Councillor if:

  • have been declared bankrupt within the last five years if you have not repaid your debts.
  • have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment (whether suspended or not) without the option of a fine within the last five years.
  • you have been disqualified under any legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices.

APPLICATION FORM

We currently have a vacancies that can be filled by co-option. If you would like to apply to become a councillor, please complete this form. You will then be invited to attend a Parish Council meeting to meet the councillors and present your application in a short discussion.