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Election of Parish Councillors
by Alison Skipper - Clerk to the Council - 16:48 on 09 March 2015
ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS THERE IS AN ELECTION FOR PARISH COUNCILLORS
This is the year for you to consider becoming a Parish Councillor?
WHAT IS A PARISH COUNCILLOR?
The Parish Councillors represent the village Parishioners at Local Government level.
Caston is entitled to 7 Parish Councillors. You must be on the Electoral Register for Caston
WHY DOES THE VILLAGE HAVE A PARISH COUNCIL?
The Parish Councillors together represent the village community. They take responsibility for a range of community matters and local needs. These include providing and looking after village amenities and supporting local projects. The District Council are also required by statute to consult the Parish Council over matters such as planning applications in the Parish.
WHAT DO THE PARISH COUNCILLORS DO AT A MEETING?
An agenda is published each month and the items are discussed, the outcomes are noted by the clerk. The items discussed often generate lively discussion regarding matters which concern the village. Sometimes there are speakers and invited guests. The public and press are also invited to the meetings. A Parish Councillor can be asked to represent the village at District or County meetings
WHEN ARE THE MEETINGS AND ARE THEY VERY LONG?
Normally, except on Bank Holidays, they are the first Monday of the month. No meetings in January & August. Each meeting is held in The Village Hall, starting promptly at 7.30pm. They end at approximately 8.45pm depending on the amount of business to be discussed.
WHAT IF I CANNOT GO TO ALL THE MEETINGS IN THE YEAR?
You can give your apologies for a good reason but you are expected to attend as many meetings per year as you can because you are representing the parishioners and their views. You can be removed if you fail to attend.
DO YOU GET PAID?
The Councillors are all volunteers but if agreed you may claim expenses for certain items. The Parish Council is funded by the Precept which is part of the Council Tax.
HOW DOES A COUNCILLOR FIND OUT ABOUT ALL THE JARGON AND WHAT TO DO?
Training is available from County, paid for by the Parish Council, but you will need transport to travel to the course, usually held in or around the Norwich area. The Clerk will also help if you do not understand anything.
HOW DOES A COUNCILLOR KNOW WHAT TO SAY AT A MEETING?
You are representing the village so you can say what you and the parishioners feel. Politeness, integrity and common sense and a liking for people plus caring for the village, are the key elements to being a good councillor. All councillors are governed by a Code of Conduct which you will need to sign. You will also be asked to declare your financial and personal interests in any items to be discussed at meetings.
All this will all be explained during the training and a booklet will be given to you to help you.
HOW DO I BECOME A COUNCILLOR?
There are some restrictions for potential applicants but these are explained in the Nomination Pack. You will need to deliver in person, the completed pack to Breckland Council Offices at Dereham by April 9th.
The election takes place on May 7th
Contact the Clerk for a nomination pack or look at this website for more information and a pack
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