The role of a Parish Councillor

“Your Parish Council is the local authority closest to the Electorate.”

A Parish Council is a separate legal, corporate entity, it has nothing to do with the Church or the Diocese; nor is it a voluntary and community sector body.

Parish Councils were first created by the Local Government Act of 1894 in most rural areas, the current consolidated legislation is that of 1972.

A Parish Council also provides services for the local people. In Holbrook, these include maintaining the Reade Field and the War Memorial. There is a list of the activities that a Parish Council has the power to provide and like any statutory body it can only do the things for which the law or any governing document gives a power.

The Parish Council has the ability to set a Precept (sum of money), which is collected from all residents through the Council Tax system. The right to levy a form of taxation brings some responsibilities, for example a duty to behave in an ethical manner according to a Code of Conduct and a duty to have the annual accounts subjected to audit.

Training is available and support will be found from colleagues and the Clerk to the Council, as well as from the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, a body affiliated to the National Association of Local Councils.

All Councillors retire after a four year term (albeit they can apply to be re-elected), but casual vacancies may well arise in the intervening period. It is a useful way of seeing if you like being a local Councillor to take a seat for a short period before the next full elections. Councillors are not paid a salary but their expenses can be reimbursed. They are not volunteers, however - a councillor holds public office.

So if you are interested in working for your community, if you want to spend your time productively, and if you can think, listen and act locally – become a Parish Councillor.

For more information try the following links:
Be a councillor

All about local councils

It takes all sorts

The Good Councillor Guide

If you have read the information contained on this page and are interested in becoming a councillor, please contact the Clerk in the first instance for further information.