Becoming a Heath and Reach Parish Councillor

Becoming a Councillor

Serving as a councillor on any parish or town council is controlled by the rules and regulations laid out in the Local Government Act 1972 (LGA 1972). Heath and Reach Parish Councill has the capacity for 9 serving councillors. In many cases those who put themselves forward for a seat on the parish council are uncontested. This council, generally speaking, has healthy representation at Committee levels and at times there are more nominations than seats. Nonetheless, the election process is adhered to and elections are held every four years. Seats remaining vacant at this time can be filled by co-option, subject to the correct procedures being followed.

Between elections further vacancies arising can also be filled by co-option, providing each vacancy is duly notified and nominations invited.

Eligibility
Broadly speaking, anyone who has a desire and sufficient spare time to serve the community can become a councillor. Their appointment is subject to the qualifying criteria being met and the individual is willing to adhere to the statutory code of conduct.

Qualifying criteria
A candidate must be:

  • A British subject or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union
  • At least 18 years of age
  • A local government elector for the area of the authority, or for during the preceding 12 months, lived in the parish or within 3 miles of the parish, have owned or occupied land in the parish, or worked in the parish.

A candidate cannot:

  • Hold paid office or employment within the council
  • Be subject to a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order
  • Have been within the last five years convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for more than three months

Relevant skills are:

  • Good listening skills
  • Good decision-making skills
  • Good local knowledge

More information about becoming a Parish Councillor and the scope of duties and responsibilities of office can be found in “Then Good Councillors Guide” available for download at www.nalc.gov.uk

Applying to fill a casual vacancy
To qualify for co-option onto a Parish Council, a candidate must be a British Subject, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or a relevant citizen of the European Union, and have reached eighteen years of age AND

  1. be registered as a local government elector for the Parish of  Heath and Reach or
  2. have during the whole of the past twelve months occupied, as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the Parish of Heath and Reach, or
  3. have had his or her principal or only place of work during the past twelve months in the Parish of Heath and Reach or
  4. have during the past twelve months resided in the Parish of Heath and Reach or within 4.8 kilometres of it.

ANYONE WISHING TO BE CONSIDERED FOR CO-OPTION ONTO THE COUNCIL PLEASE APPLY IN WRITING, WITH A BRIEF CV, TO:-

The Clerk to Heath and Reach Parish Council
7 Heath Green
Heath and Reach
Bedfordshire
LU7 0AB

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