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The Role of Councillors
There are eleven Parish Councillors representing Shrewton. The role of every councillor is to express the views and concerns of residents of the village to the parish council which may then be passed on to Wiltshire Council for further action. They also report back to residents on issues affecting the parish.
Councillors are also assigned individual roles – as part of Working Groups such as the Neighbourhood Plan working group or representing the Parish Council at meetings such as CATG or Planning meetings.
The Parish Council also awards grants to support local initiatives and organisations. This requires a commitment by those who stand as Councillors to participate fully in village life as well as attending these meetings.
Individual Councillors do not have powers to make decisions on behalf of the parish council but attend meetings and correspond with the Clerk on various matters. The parish council might have committees, sub-committees or working groups to deal with issues such as planning applications, reviewing policies or creating a neighbourhood plan. A short list of useful links is provided further down this page where full information governing Councillor’s actions can be found.
The regular council meetings are held in the Methodist Hall on the first Wednesday in every month and are open to everyone in the community to attend.
7:15pm Meetings Start to discuss Planning Applications – if any received during the month
Invited speakers may make a presentation at this time.
7:30pm Informal Session of Parish Council begins – members of the public may speak.
7:45pm Formal Session of Parish Council begins – see agenda for detail of subjects covered.
9:30pm Scheduled end to formal session.
Start of second informal session – where members of the public may speak.
The agenda for these meetings is published to give at least three days clear notice.
The less formal side of the role is to listen and talk to residents in the village and present their views at meetings.
Requirements of the Parish Council
Guidance is provided by the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils and Wiltshire Council on the appropriate conduct of a Councillor. Councillors must abide by the Code of Conduct and Standing Orders – both of which are reviewed every 24 months. These, and all the other applicable policies, can be found on the Policies and Procedures Overview page.
There is a requirement to complete a register of interests to ensure compliance with the code of conduct; it is crucial as Councillors may be at risk of being affected by personal or prejudicial interests. It can be difficult to maintain an appropriate distance from local matters.
The register of interests is held by Wiltshire Council and has details of all councillors.
A book for Councillors to declare an interest in an item on the Agenda is also maintained but this is held by the Parish Clerk. Any declaration within a meeting is added to the Minutes. It is to ensure that members of the public can see a trail should there be any questions as to whether a Cllr had an interest in a topic being discussed.
There are transparency requirements of the Parish Council. This includes publishing all minutes of meetings and having an annual audit. Minutes of all Parish Council meetings are made public – on the notice board and here on the Council Meetings page.
Your Parish Council is there to support you – the community of Shrewton.
Contact the Parish Council
To send messages to the Councillors, you should contact the Clerk by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your messages and documents will not be published online but may be read out as “Correspondence” at the next Parish Council meeting.
- Contact the Clerk of the Council – Many matters affecting the local community can first be handled by your parish council. These may be planning applications, traffic issues and parking, rights of way, signs and many more.
- Applications for grants – Shrewton Parish Council has a limited amount of funding available for local projects.
Once received, this will be reviewed at the next council meeting. Should a reply be required you will be contacted directly using the contact information entered.
Becoming a Councillor
Shrewton Parish Council depends on having good councillors to be effective in its work with our local community. You can check using this link to check whether you qualify (broadly that you live or work in the village) or indeed do not qualify. If you qualify and would like to apply, please email the Clerk email@example.com to find out more about becoming a councillor.
Councillors are all elected. On occasions where vacancies exist and the number of applicants does not exceed that, then councillors are elected unopposed which is also referred to as “co-opted”.
There is a wealth of information available on the internet. Below are a few useful links.
Councillors also need to have access to a lot of information. While much of this is available in the public domain, there is often associated data or advice which would be hard to find.
This Councillors Resource area should develop over time. But take note that things constantly change and this information should be used with caution! Always confirm the currency of the information before making any use of it.
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