think you may be interested in becoming a Parish Councillor……?
Please read on for some outline information which may help you decide whether to stand as a candidate to join Bovingdon Parish Council.
What are parish councils?
Town and Parish Councils are the first tier of local government. There are approximately 9,000 parish councils throughout England, in both towns and rural areas, representing around 16 million people. Parish councils represent the interests of their local communities, provide local services and work to improve the quality of life in the parish.
Bovingdon Parish Council is comprised of 10 Councillors and 3 part-time members of staff, headed by the Parish Clerk. Each Council term is four years.
What sort of services does Bovingdon Parish Council provide?
The Council provides the following:
- maintenance and upkeep of bus shelters
- maintenance of the docks area
- management and upkeep of the pond on Bovingdon Green
- provision of an outsourced Village Warden service
- maintain street furniture throughout the village
- control of litter across the Parish
- community events including the 10k and 3k fun run
- maintenance of the Ryder Memorial
- maintenance of interpretation boards and millenium sign
- maintenance of the public conveniences at the Memorial Hall
- management of Bovingdon Memorial Hall
- Christmas lights in the village centre
- produce / deliver Bovingdon News magazine twice a year
In addition, the Parish Council works in partnership with many local organisations and with the local authorities Dacorum Borough Council and Herts County Council. We review and comment on planning applications within the parish and distribute community grants to local organisations. The Parish Council also works closely with Hertfordshire Police.
Parish Councils are generally not responsible for: roads, pavements, litter collection, care provision, education, benefits, amenity areas, street lighting.
How do Parish Councils make decisions?
The Council meets in full seven times per year, on a Monday evening. Several Committees and Sub-Committees meet more frequently to review projects and make decisions. The majority of meetings are held in the evening, so that Councillors who also work are able to attend. Parish Council officers provide information at meetings to facilitate discussion and enable Members to make an informed decision. All meetings are open to the public with the Personal Committee the only exception.
Where does the Parish Council’s money come from?
Each January the Parish Council approves a budget for the following year and determines how much should be collected from householders as part of their council tax (the “precept”).
Do Parish Councillors get paid?
No. Parish Councillors are volunteers who want to represent their local community and help improve local services. Councillors may be able to claim for certain expenses such as mileage.
Is support and training available?
Yes. Parish Council officers will undertake an initial induction programme with new councillors and are always available to offer help and support. Specific training for councillors is delivered through the Hertfordshire Association for Town and Parish Councillors.
Am I eligible to stand as a parish councillor?
Yes, if you are a British, Commonwealth or European citizen aged 18 or over and meet any one of the following criteria:
1. you are on the electoral roll for the parish
2. you have lived in the parish, or within 3 miles of it, for the previous 12 months
3. you have occupied any land or premises in the parish for the previous 12 months
4. your main place of work is within the parish
How are Parish Councillors appointed?
Parish Councillors are generally appointed at local council elections, held every four years. The next election will be on 2nd May 2019.
Alternatively, if there is a casual vacancy during the four year term, a Councillor may be co-opted to join the Council (procedure see Co-option).
To find out more about what it means to be a Councillor and some guidance for candidates please take a look at The good Councillors guide
You can find further information by visiting the Dacorum Borough Council website
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Mike Kember, Parish Clerk or Lisa Edwards, Assistant to the Parish Clerk:
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (01442) 833036