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Apply to be a Parish Councillor

Do you have a couple of hours a month to help your village?

Saxtead Parish Council has vacancies for Parish Councillors and is keen to welcome new faces to the Council. 

If you are passionate about your local area and interested in making a difference, then being a parish  councillor could be the ideal position for you. The main purpose of your role is to represent the views of all residents in your parish.

You can become a councillor for the parish where you live or work, or a parish within 3 miles of where you live.

The attached guide gives lots of useful information on being a Parish Councillor and is worth a read if you are thinking of joining. 

Please contact the clerk if you would like to know more or would like to apply. We hold 6 main Parish Council meetings a year as well as Planning Meetings as required. In between meetings, most of our communications are done via email. 

What  does it take to be a town or parish councillor?

Being an effective councillor requires both commitment and hard work. Your council’s clerk will be able to give you information as to the usual timing of meetings, the type of work the council does, and other relevant information about the role of a councillor in your area, so that you can understand the demands that will be placed on your time.

Becoming a councillor is both a rewarding and privileged form of public service. You will be in a position to make a difference to the quality of other people’s daily lives and prospects, and to improve your local area.

You do not need any previous experience of being a councillor, but you will need to be passionate about your local area and dedicated to working as part of a team for the benefit of your residents.

Could I be a councillor?
There are certain criteria that you must meet to be eligible to be a councillor.
You must:
Be a British citizen or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
Be at least 18 years old
Be registered to vote in the area, or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12months before an election
Have lived within 3 miles/4.8km of the parish for at least 12 months before an election
There are also certain restrictions on holding the post of councillor.

If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to stand as a councillor, please contact the Elections Team at East Suffolk Council for advice (contact details below).

Information sheet
Q: What sort of things do town and parish councils do? A: Town and parish councils have relatively few duties imposed on them by central Government but have a vast array of powers which give them the flexibility to deal with many of the matters affecting local people. Most local councils will consider and make recommendations on planning applications affecting the area (although they are not the deciding authority), support village events and community buildings, and also provide assets which support the identity of the community (village signs, dog litter and waste bins, and benches). However, depending on the identity and size of the town or village, activities could be wide-ranging such as providing allotments, burial grounds and cemeteries, open spaces, markets, newsletters, toilets, and play areas. Local councils can also support or influence the other tiers of local government (county and district councils). Local councils exist to serve the community, and how they achieve this is largely determined by the councillors that serve on the council and the nature of the local area.

Q: Do town and parish councillors get paid?

A: Town and parish councillors are  unpaid.

Q: How long will I be a councillor for?

A: The usual term of office for a councillor is 4 years. If during this time you are no longer able to fulfil the role then you have the option to resign. If you are co-opted/elected to fill the seat of a councillor who resigned then your term of office will be shorter than 4 years.

Useful contacts
East Suffolk Council Elections Team Email: elections@eastsuffolk.gov.uk Tel: 01502 523238

Suffolk Association of Local Councils Email: admin@salc.org.uk Tel: 01473 833713 Website: www.salc.org.uk