Becoming a councillor

When there is a vacancy on the council caused by a casual vacancy outside of the normal ‘polling booth’ election procedure, a process called co-option generally takes the place of an election – the members of the council select additional members to fill the vacant seat(s).

It is an exciting time to be involved with town and parish councils. In the last 10 or so years, the local council sector has moved at a rapid pace, with power passing down from central government to a more local level. Local (i.e. town & parish) councils are more accountable than ever, have increased legal responsibilities to their constituents and are compelled to share information by means of a web presence. This is because they have the means to achieve a lot of good for their communities.

With next-tier council resources stretched to the limit, the parish council needs people who can contribute to the challenges facing the council and help find ways of keeping Nassington one of the finest examples of a Northamptonshire village.

Nassington is well placed to face the challenges ahead, having anticipated the changes and opportunities of localism and now in a resilient position to take on many of the services that might otherwise be lost.  It is a proactive and robust local council, fit for 21st-century challenges, keen for the parish to evolve and create economic opportunities, whilst keeping at heart the wellbeing of the residents in the parish. – Are YOU ready for the challenge?

Parish councils need members who can demonstrate some of the following attributes:

Patience, persistence, commitment, and who are practical, collaborative, analytical team players not prone to take things too personally.

– these will go some way to embracing some of the increased powers that sprang from localism.

We look at priorities and a long-term strategic plan of what we need to be achieving, as well as all the everyday statutory obligations we have to meet.

Localism is all about communities taking responsibility for themselves and seizing the many opportunities for financing and driving local improvement, as well as the possibility of even taking on planning functions in the future.
Parish councils will be the leaders of strong, resilient communities who maintain their towns and villages as desirable and happy places to live in.

Public consultation is an excellent way of ensuring collaboration, transparency and open trust between the council and residents and is a benchmark of a vibrant community – Nassington council strives to keep residents involved and informed of its activities. 

Please feel free to contact the clerk or current members of the parish council for information – contact details HERE

Download THIS booklet for examples of some of the different types of people involved with parish councils across the country

This page explains how to become a Parish Councillor and what this important role is really about. We hope it will encourage you and people from all walks of life to take an interest in local democracy and to think about putting yourself forward for election.

Councillors have three main areas of work:
• Decision-making: through attending meetings and 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. This often depends on what the councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available

Key responsibilities

Neighbourhood Plan; Street Lighting ; Playing Field;  Play equipment; outdoor gym; Allotments;  Churchyard;    Pocket Park;    Affordable Housing;  Small Grants;  Benches ; Consultee on Planning Applications

Other areas of interest:

Housing;   Traffic & transport;    Leisure & recreation;  The local environment;
Supporting Education; Safety & crime prevention; Business & employment;      Engaging young people;  Amenities & services.

Town and Parish Councils are the grass roots of local government and democracy. There are around 10,000 such councils in England and Wales, each representing its local community and promoting the best interests of its residents.

Local communities are being encouraged to become increasingly responsible for some of the things that have been looked after by central government or other organisations. It is becoming increasingly evident that parish councils will play an important part as the localism act takes root and a healthy council will be important within the ‘big society’ notion and play its part in the levelling up agenda.

Several qualities contribute to being a good parish councillor:

  1. Commitment to Community: A passion for serving the local community is crucial. Good councillors genuinely care about the well-being of their constituents.
  2. Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential for liaising with residents, conveying ideas clearly, and advocating for community needs.
  3. Listening Skills: Being attentive and responsive to the concerns and ideas of residents is vital. A good councillor actively listens to their constituents.
  4. Problem-Solving Abilities: The capacity to analyse issues, seek solutions, and work collaboratively with others to address problems within the community is essential.
  5. Integrity and Ethics: Upholding high moral and ethical standards is crucial. Residents should trust their councillors to act in the community’s best interests.
  6. Knowledge and Understanding: Being informed about local issues, policies, and the functioning of the council is important. Continuous learning about governance and community needs is valuable.
  7. Collaboration and Teamwork: Working harmoniously with other councillors, council staff, and local organisations is key to achieving goals and implementing effective solutions.
  8. Time Commitment: Being available and dedicating sufficient time to council duties, meetings, and engaging with constituents is necessary for effective representation.
  9. Resilience and Adaptability: Dealing with diverse opinions and adapting to changing circumstances are essential skills for navigating the complexities of local governance.
  10. Leadership and Initiative: Taking the lead on initiatives, advocating for change, and inspiring others to participate positively in community development are traits of a good councillor.

Remember, being a councillor involves a commitment to service and representing the diverse interests and needs of the community. Balancing these responsibilities requires a multifaceted skill set and a genuine desire to make a positive difference.

For more information about what the council does download the latest Good Councillor Guide:    

The Good Councillor’s Guide

This is a co-option application form:

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