Thinking of becoming a parish councillor?
On 7 May 2015, at the same time as the general election, there will also be elections for district and parish councillors.
For full information about the elections in Torridge, please see Torridge DC election pages.
The parish council is the first tier of local government in England and Wales and, for most of the electorate, provides the most accessible forum for debating and developing local issues. Parish councils are elected for a term of four years so, if you are thinking of standing as a parish councillor, you would be making a commitment to serve the community until May 2019.
Buckland Brewer Parish Council has nine councillors. It has two sub-committees (‘Budget and Finance’ and ‘Personnel’) and provides, or recommends other parishioners, as trustees to the Village Hall Management Committee and the Playing Fields Association. Meetings are held at least once every month, normally on the second Wednesday of the month. Frequently, extra meetings are needed to meet deadlines for consultations on planning applications and these normally take place on the 4th Wednesday of the month. The Parish Council’s Annual Meeting is held in May each year. At this meeting a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are elected for the coming year. There is only one other formally appointed role for a parish councillor, which is to undertake the role of Snow Warden (although this role can also be delegated to an individual who is not a councillor if necessary).
The Parish Clerk is a paid employee of the council – not a councillor, and therefore is not required to stand for election. Their role is to advise the Council, prepare minutes and agendas, provide financial control and undertake other administrative duties. He or she does not take part in any voting.
If you are considering standing as a parish councillor you might find some of these guides and background papers helpful:
- Guidance for candidates and agents at parish elections (essential information from the Electoral Commission)
- What is a parish council [pdf 64 KB]
- Can you stand for election? [pdf 148 KB]
- Torridge DC election newsletter May 2015 [pdf 107 KB]
- Become a councillor [pdf 162 KB]
- Being a parish councillor [pdf 162 KB]
- Parish council powers [pdf 162 KB]
- Role of chair [pdf 79 KB]
- The parish clerk [pdf 54 KB]
- Public participation sessions [pdf 54 KB]
- Parish council governance toolkit [pdf 780 KB]
- Buckland Brewer parish council standing orders [pdf 178 KB]
- Buckland Brewer parish council code of conduct [pdf 93 KB]
Nomination forms will become available on or soon after 9 March and must be returned in person to the Returning Officer by 9 April 2015. You can email the Parish Clerk or any of the present parish councillors. If you would like an informal chat just leave your telephone number and they will call you back.