ROLE OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
Parish councillors are elected by the electors of the Parish, under section 16 (2) of the Local Government Act 1972, every four years. A councillor may also be returned by by-election, co-option, appointment by the District Council or by return after a successful election petition. All councillors are required to complete a declaration of Acceptance of Office and to provide a written undertaking that they accept the Council’s Code of Conduct.
Individual councillors work together to serve the community and to help the Council to make decisions on behalf of the local community. They contribute to the work of the Parish Council by suggesting ideas, engaging in constructive debate and by responding to the needs and views of the community representing their constituents. Councillors comment on proposals to ensure the best outcome and vote to enable the council to make decisions, they must accept the decisions of the Council as a whole even if they do not agree. In such circumstances a councillor may ask for a vote against a resolution to be recorded. Councillors are required to behave in an ethical way and to declare an interest when necessary.
The Chairman is elected by the members of the Council at the Annual General Meeting and serves for twelve months under Section 15 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972. The Chairman’s main role is to run council meetings. The Chairman is responsible for ensuring that effective and lawful decisions are taken at meetings and is responsible for involving all councillors in discussion. The Chairman summarises the debate and facilitates the making of clear resolutions . The Chairman has a casting vote so his/her first vote is a personal vote as a member of the council, in the instance of a tied vote, the Chairman can have a second, casting vote. The Chairman will often be the public face of the council and will represent it at official events. He/she may be asked to speak on behalf of the Council and in such circumstances will only expresses the agreed views of the Council. The Chairman cannot legally make a decision on behalf of the Council.
The Council represents and serves the whole community and is responsible for the services it provides. It establishes policies for action and decides how money will be raised and spent on behalf of the community. It is responsible for spending public money lawfully and achieving the best value for money. The Council as a body decides whether to work in partnership with other organisations and it often serves (through representatives) on other bodies.