Becoming a Parish Councillor
Information to help you know what being a Parish Councillor at Mendip is all about.
Parish and Town Councils are assisted in their work by the clerk, whose role is to advise the Councillors on conduct and management of meetings, record discussion and decisions, and take forward any actions as requested by the Council.
Advice for Parish and Town Councils
The Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC) provides advice, support, training and assistance to its member councils, some of whom employ only one official, the Clerk. Apart from the Town Councils this is usually on a part-time basis. The advice and support offered by SALC is backed-up by the Association's links with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) to which it is affiliated.
What Does Being a Parish or Town Councillor Involve?
A councillor is a member of the Parish or Town Council and is normally elected for a term of four years. All Parish and Town Councils are elected in full every 4 years, at the same time as the District Council elections. It may be that a vacancy arises on the Council between the full elections cycle, and in this case a by-election may be called. For those elected at a by-election or by co-option during the four year term, their term of office may be anything up to the full four years.
A Parish or Town Councillor may be affiliated to one of the political parties, or can stand as an independent (not affiliated).What Parish and Town Councillors do all have in common is an active interest in their local community and a concern for it. Much of the role of the Parish or Town Councillor will be in representing and dealing with the issues of those who elected you, and considering the business of the Council through its formal meetings. Depending on the way the Council organises its business it may form committees to deal with specific areas of council business, such as playing field or village hall committee.
Parish Meetings: There are a number of Mendip parishes that do not have a full parish council. Instead they have a parish meeting, which is a meeting to which all residents of the parish are invited to discuss local issues.
For more information, Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC) produce a booklet "Becoming a Parish Councillor" which is available from them on request.
Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC)
Somerton Business Park
8 Cary Court
Tel 01458 270922
Declaration of Interest Forms
Parish and Town Councillors are required to complete a Declaration of Interest (DoI). The paperwork is collected by the relevant clerk and can be downloaded from the Parish or Town Council's information page: Town and Parish Councils Contact Information
Copy of the template and sample DoI:
Mendip Parish Forums are held quarterly to which all Parish Councils and Community Groups are invited. The Forums provide a link between the two levels of Local Government and representatives of Rural Community Groups in Mendip. Information and views can be exchanged, consultation facilitated and best practice shared. Please see Terms of Reference.