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What is a Councillor?

Councillors are elected to represent an individual geographical unit on the council known as a Ward. Sutton Cheney Parish Council consists of 7 Elected Councillors who collectively represent 3 wards: Dadlington (3), Sutton Cheney (2) and Shenton (2).

Councillors have three main components to their work:

Decision Making – Through meetings and attending committees with other elected members , Councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.

Monitoring – Councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.

Getting involved locally - as local representatives, Councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations.

These responsibilities and duties often depend on what the Councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available and may include:

  • Going to meetings of local organisations
  • Going to meetings of bodies affecting the wider community
  • Taking up issues on behalf of members of the public


Why Should I Consider Being a Councillor?

Local councils, like all local authorities, rely on people who are prepared to put themselves forward to make sure that local people are listened to and being apart of deciding how the community is run and developed.

You can be voice and help achieve real change. In other words you can make a difference!


How much time will I need to give the role?

Quite often Councillors say that their duties occupy them for about two or three hours a week. Obviously there are some Councillors who spend more or less time than this. But in the main, being a Parish Councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work.


Will I get paid for being a Councillor? 

No, Councillors are volunteers and do not receive a salary although you would be entitled to reclaim mileage incurred while on council business.


What happens if I get elected?

If you are elected, your role as a Councillor will begin almost immediately. There will be a few formalities to be dealt with, the most important of which is that you sign a formal declaration to be a Councillor and to abide by a Code of Conduct. This Code, of which all Councillors are required to observe, set out the standards of behaviour Councillors |must follow and also contains the rules about certain personal interests which you must declare.

The rules which Councillors are expected to observe may seem daunting at first but the Parish Clerk along with fellow experienced Councillors are available to help you. As part of your induction, you will be offered induction training which is ran by Leicestershire and Rutland Association of Local Councils along with other ongoing training.


Am I qualified? 

Most people are - however there are a few rules:

  • You have to be a British subject, a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union

  • Be aged 18 years or over 
  • You have to be registered as a Local Government Elector for the Parish on the current Electoral Register
  • Have during the whole of the previous 12 months occupied as tenant or owner of any land or premises in the Parish
  • Has had his/her principal or only place of work in te previous 12 months in the Parish
  • Has resided either in the Parish or within 3 miles thereof during the last 12 months. 

You cannot become a Parish Councillor if you are subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order, have, within five years, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine. 

You also can't work for the council as well as being a Councillor although you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area.


Further Information

The National Association of Local Councils publish useful guides to new Councillors. These can be viewed below.

The Good Councillor Guide

The Good Councillor Guide to Finance and Transparency

If you would like to become a Councillor or find out more about what they do then please |contact the Parish Clerk for more information.