Becoming a Councillor

Do you want to do more for our community?

As a Parish Councillor, you could help to look after, and improve, many of the facilities in our parish. See Role of a Parish Council (to the left)

There are five vacancies on the Parish Council at present. The next full elections for the Parish Council, when all fifteen seats again come up for election, will be in May 2021.

Even if you decide not to offer your services as a Councillor, the Parish Council may well have projects on the go and additional help is always welcome. If you think you might be interested in joining the Council in future, getting involved in this way could be helpful in finding out more about what we do and how we do it.

What’s Involved?

You can spend a lot of time on council work – but most people have jobs, families and hobbies that also demand a lot of time. However, as with most things, the more you put in, the more you (and our community) will get out.

Wendron Parish Council meets 11 times a year, on the second Monday of the month. There is no meeting in August. You should also attend the Annual Parish Meeting which is normally held on the second Monday in May immediately before the Annual Parish Council Meeting.

At the Annual Parish Council Meeting you will be invited to take on responsibility (on an overview basis) for one or more of the following: Planning, Finance, Neighbourhood Plans, Footpaths and Bridleways, Highways and Public Transport, Carnkie Play Area Inspections, Wendron Lawn Cemetery, one of the nine notice-boards within the Parish, telephone kiosks, and to represent Wendron Parish Council with the Helston and the Lizard Peninsula Community Network Panel, with Burras Community Hall, with Carnkie Wendron Village Hall and with the Wendron Silver Band.

Much of what the Council does is common sense, but Cornwall Council runs helpful evening introductory sessions for new councillors.

The Good Councillors Guide booklet (from the National Association of Local Councils) has more information about the duties of a Parish Councillor.

When can I apply to become a councillor?

All fifteen seats on the Parish Council come up for election every four years, so the next time is 2021. The elections are held on the same day as Cornwall Council elections, almost always the first Thursday in May

Sometimes, vacancies occur between elections, for example through resignation or moving away. These are known as “casual vacancies”. A casual vacancy must be advertised on the notice boards and elsewhere. Local electors have the opportunity to call for a by-election. If a by-election is not called, the Parish Council should fill the vacancy by co-option.

How do I apply to stand in an election or by-election?

You need to complete a fairly straightforward nomination form (available from Cornwall Council). It must be signed by your proposer and seconder, and witnessed.

Then submit it to the Electoral Services Unit at the Cornwall Council offices in Camborne. You can post your nomination papers, but it’s a good idea to make an appointment with the Electoral Services Manager to have your nomination papers checked before submission.

How do I apply for co-option to the Parish Council?

Co-option is a less formal process than election.

The Parish Council may fill vacant seats on the Council by co-option

1.  When seats on the Council remain unfilled after the four-yearly election (because fewer than fifteen valid nominations were submitted), or
2.  After a “casual vacancy” is created, for example by resignation of a councillor, and if, after the vacancy has been officially advertised, a by-election process has not been formally requested by 10 electors.

When the Parish Council has a vacancy which is it seeking to fill by co-option, if you want to put your name forward, or if you would like more information about what’s involved, contact the Clerk colinchapman@lineone.net

You will be asked to write a letter introducing yourself and including

1.  a statement of the length of time you have lived in or been associated with the Parish
2.  a resumé of the work you have done (both paid and voluntary)
3.  a statement of the skills and qualifications you have
4.  a statement explaining why you would like to be a Councillor
5.  and what you believe you could bring to the appointment

Who can apply

You must be

1.  a British subject or Irish citizen,
2.  18 years of age or over, and
3.  either in the list of electors for the Parish or, during the whole of the preceding twelve months,

(i) have occupied land in the parish as owner or tenant, or
(ii) had a principal place of work here, or
(iii) resided in or within three miles of it.

Other information

Our Parish Council is strictly non party-political.

Canvassing: Some candidates in Parish Council elections may choose to distribute flyers about themselves before the elections. This is not required, but you may think it helpful to make yourself known to the electors. Bear in mind that those voting by post may cast their votes well in advance of the actual polling day. There are rules governing the costs of canvassing and leaflets, The rules are not unduly onerous, but any flyer or leaflet does need to say who published it and who printed it.

More information and forms: for more information about the process or how the Council works, contact our Clerk, Colin Chapman colinchapman@lineone.net. In election years he may be able to provide you with a copy of the nomination forms.

Any of the current councillors would be happy to talk to you.

The Electoral Commission – information for candidates, voters and others
CALC: Information about Town and Parish Councils

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