Would You Like To Be A Parish Councillor?

In May, the existing Parish Council reaches the end of its four year term of office and a new one will be elected. There will be seven available unpaid positions. It’s probable that some of the current Councillors will stand for re-election and that others won’t. In any event, if there are more than seven candidates, the voters in the Parish will decide who gets elected.
Anyone over 18 in the Parish may be a candidate. It’s difficult to be truly representative of everyone with only seven Councillors but that is the legal limit. For example, the perspective of what is important differs greatly just by geography in our extended Parish. It would also be nice to have a spread of ages and a more equal number of men and women. More important, however, is to have Councillors who care about the whole Parish and who work well together.
The existing Woodchester Parish Council is proactive and with only seven to share the work load it really matters that everyone does their bit. It’s realistic to expect Parish Council matters to take up a few hours most weeks. The regular, six times a year, official meetings are just the public aspect of the job where decisions are made. Underpinning those is all the preparation that ensures the Council is aware of all the facts and implications. For example, the Council is often asked to participate in consultations, often to a tight deadline. Usually one Councillor drafts a response and asks the others for their comments. Each Councillor who then applies their own knowledge, experience and intelligence strengthens the submission.
Most of the time being a Parish Councillor is enjoyable. There is scope for individual interests, knowledge and enthusiasms. It’s interesting to get to know our community well. The amount of time it takes is manageable, in that things rarely have to be done immediately and a lot can be done from a computer. There’s more chance to influence things that affect our community than real power but that is satisfying in itself.
If you’d like to know more please talk to the Parish Clerk, Duncan Hayes or any Parish Councillor and/or borrow a useful booklet called, “The Good Councillor’s Guide”.

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