Becoming A Parish Councillor
Why become a Parish Councillor?
Parish Councillors are elected representatives who volunteer their time freely to work on behalf of local residents. Individuals may also be co-opted at the discretion of the council if there is a vacancy. By becoming a parish councillor you can become a voice for your community, somebody who residents will look to for help, guidance and support. You will be involved in local decision making and strategic planning for the benefit of the people you serve. Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you have helped make, is something that can give you a sense of achievement and pride.
What are the roles and responsibilities involved?
- A Sonning Parish Councillor is one of 9 individuals, supported by the Parish Clerk, who are elected to represent the voice of residents within the village. This will involve engaging with local residents to ensure that their views are heard, understood and addressed.
- As part of the Parish Council you will have responsibility for managing local services and amenities such as the play areas, wharf, allotments, bus shelters and street lighting.
- As part of the Parish Council you will help to make decisions regarding the finances involved in delivering local services.
- You will be involved in working to protect and improve the built and natural environment of Sonning. This may involve contributing to long term policy development or being part of the team that assesses and comments on local planning applications.
- Working where needed on short term local projects.
- Liaising and working in partnership with other organisations, agencies or neighbouring parish councils where necessary.
What skills will I need to be a Parish Councillor?
A Council Committee benefits from diversity and we welcome interest from people of different ages, backgrounds, experiences and abilities. Good communication skills, problem solving, analytical thinking and being a team player are all advantageous attributes.
How much time does being a councillor take?
As with anything, what you get out of being a Parish Councillor will depend on what you are able to put in. How much time you are able to commit is largely down to the individual and what level of involvement you are hoping for. As a minimum, you would be expected to attend the monthly Parish Council meetings held one evening per month. In addition you will need to be free to attend the meetings of any working groups that you join such as Planning, Highways, Recreation…
How long does a Parish Councillor serve for?
Once elected, Parish Councillors can sit on the Parish Council for a maximum of 4 years. If after that time, you wish to stay in post then you will need to stand for re-election.
The best way to discover if being a Sonning Parish Councillor is right for you is to come along to one of our meetings, meet the team and see us in action. Alternatively feel free to contact any of the Parish Councillors through the website contacts page and have a chat with us. To register an interest in joining the council, please contact our clerk Lesley Bates - firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the process of becoming a Parish Councillor including important information regarding eligibility then please click here.