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.

After the recent elections we have 4 vacancies on the Parish Council, two of which we hope to fill by co-opting previous members back onto the council at the May meeting.

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.

Mawnan Parish Council legally meets 11 times a year, on the third Thursday of the month. There is no meeting in August. We have occasional extra meetings , such as quarterly Office & Finance Committee and often a planning meeting in August  You should also attend the Annual Parish Meeting which is normally held on the third Thursday in May immediately before the Annual Parish Council Meeting.

At the Annual Parish Council Meeting you may be invited to take on responsibility (on an overview basis) based on your own personal knowledge or preference – it could be finance, youth, footpath or outdoors related.   Much of what the Council does is common sense, but Cornwall Council runs helpful evening introductory sessions for new councillors.

The Good Councillor Guide  booklet (from the National Association of Local Councils) has more information about the duties of a Parish Councillor – a copy is held in the Parish Office if you would like to review it.

 

When can I apply to become a councillor?

All 10 seats on the Parish Council come up for election every four years, usually at the same time as Cornwall Council elections 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 ten 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 clerk@mawnan.org.uk

You will be asked to come along to the next parish meeting to see what you are letting yourself in for and be prepared to introducing yourself, giving a brief personal history, summary of your experience and what you would bring to the council and why you want to join. We usually vote on co-option then and there and the clerk will usually be prepared with statutory documents and induction packs.

 

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.

 

More information and forms: for more information about the process or how the Council works, contact our Clerk Lisa Clements at clerk@mawnan.org.uk  or make contact with one of the current councillors whose details are on the website.

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