Parish Councillors are elected to represent a geographical area, in this case there are 8 Seats representing the Parish of Leek Wootton & Guy’s Cliffe. They are elected by people who live in the Parish.
WHAT DO LOCAL COUNCILLORS DO?
As a local councillor you can become a voice for your community and make a real change. Local councillors are community leaders and should represent the interests of the communities they serve. Local councillors have to be residents of the area their local council serves, making them the most local part of our democratic system and closest to the community. Why don’t you stand for your local council and see what difference you can make to your local neighbourhood?
Local councillors have three main areas of work:
- Decision-making: through attending meetings and committees with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.
- Monitoring: councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.
- Getting involved locally: as local representatives, councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations. This often depends on what the councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available.
The day-to-day work of a councillor may include:
- going to meetings of local organisations and community groups
- going to meetings of bodies that affect the wider community, such as the police, the Highways Authority, schools and colleges
- taking up issues on behalf of members of the public, such as making representations to the principal authority
- running a surgery for residents to bring up issues
- meeting with individual residents in their own homes
COULD I BECOME A LOCAL COUNCILLOR?
The criteria to be a Councillor are:
A candidate must be 18 years of age or over and at least one of the following:
- A UK or Commonwealth citizen
- Citizen of the Republic of Ireland
- Citizen of another member state of the European Union
and candidates must state on their consent for nomination form their qualification for election, which must be at least one of the following:
- During the whole of the previous 12 months they have occupied, either as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the parish.
- Have their principal or only place of work is in the parish
- Must live within 3 miles of the parish boundary
There are specific rules around candidacy. The full range of disqualifications for candidates is quite complex and some exceptions may apply. You should refer to the website of the Electoral Commission for full details:
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE?
Our local councillor census survey told us that councillors spend on average about three hours a week on council work. Obviously there are some councillors who spend more time than this – and some less, but in the main, being a local councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work.
DO LOCAL COUNCILLORS GET PAID?
Working as a local councillor is a completely voluntary role. However, Councils do have the power to pay allowances to councillors, subject to approval from the Council.
DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF A POLITICAL PARTY?
No. Leek Wootton & Guy’s Cliffe Parish Council is non-political. All Councillors sit as independent members.
HOW COULD I BECOME A COUNCILLOR?
Parish Councils are elected on a 4-year cycle. In the case of this Council the last election was in May 2019. If there are more than 8 candidates for the Council, this will trigger an election, which in our case would be held alongside the Warwick District Council election.
If there are 8 candidates or less an uncontested election is declared and all candidates are considered elected.
When there are less than 8 Councillors in post, there is a Casual Vacancy. This may be because there were not 8 candidates at an election, or a Councillor has resigned or died.
In such cases the Council can co-opt residents to support their work. An advert will be placed in the Parish Noticeboards and parish magazine and interested parties should contact The Clerk
For more information about Local Councils and becoming a Councillor: