Why become a Parish Councillor?
By becoming a parish councillor, you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support – a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve.
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) and roads and highways. 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 the district or county council, 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?
Warnham Parish Council meets 9 times a year for the full council meeting to which members of the public are also invited. Meetings may last two or more hours, depending on what’s on the list of items to discuss. Warnham Parish Council also has sub-committees to deal with specific subjects, such as planning, finance matters and recreation. In addition to the regular council meetings, Councillors may be required to give time for ‘ad-hoc’ meetings- for example with agents to discuss planning applications that the council must give its opinion on, highways meetings with the county council etc.
How long does a Parish Councillor serve for?
Once elected, 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. This does not mean that you have to stay for four years. If you find it’s not for you, or you can no longer meet the commitment, you can stand down. Elections are set to take place on 2nd May 2019.
Are you interested in becoming a Parish Councillor?
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. Go along to a parish council meeting, speak to one of the councillors and find out what they think and why they wanted to become a councillor. The next meeting dates are detailed here, please come along. Names and contact details of the current councillors can be found here.
If you have the interests of Warnham Parish at heart then please think about becoming a Parish Councillor, your community needs you!
Further information about Parish Councils and being a Parish Councillor can be found here.