On 5th May 2011 a new Parish Council will be elected. These elections are carried out every four years.
The current Parish Council will cease on May 4th and any Chippenham resident (subject to some restrictions – see A Guide for Candidates at Elections to County, District and Parish Councils) can put their name forward for election. If there are seven or fewer nominations, then the election will be uncontested (all those nominated will be elected) but if there are more than seven nominations then a formal election will take place on May 5th.
The Role of the Parish Council
The role of the Parish Council is to be the first tier of local government and represent the views of their local community. Because the Parish Council are closer to the community they have the greatest potential for identifying, understanding and addressing the needs of the community.
The Role of a Parish Councillor
Representing the views of all residents within your parish.
• As part of a local council you will have responsibility for running local services which may include: open spaces, play areas, village halls, community car schemes and potentially much more.
• Deciding on how much to raise through the council tax in order to deliver your council’s services.
• Influencing and shaping the long term development policy for the parish, and as part of the planning process, comment on planning applications in the parish.
• Improve the quality of life and the environment in their local area.
• Working to identify issues which are important to the lives of the residents you represent.
• Working to bring about improvements through local projects, lobbying other service providers and working in partnership with other parishes and agencies.
Council meetings normally last a maximum of a couple of hours and occur approximately once every six weeks.
If you are interested in putting your name forward, the following should be helpful.
Candidates can download Nomination Papers and Candidates Consent Forms from the ECDC website. Go to the Parish Council section for the following documents:
• Election of a Parish Councillor – Nomination Paper
• Candidates Consent to Nomination
• A Guide for Candidates at Elections to County, District and Parish Councils
These papers can be prepared in advance of the nomination process. If any of the paper work is prepared early, the Consent to Nomination paper must not be dated any earlier than March 5th or the Nomination Paper will be invalid.
Nomination Papers can be delivered back to the District Council offices from 9.30am on March 25th through to 12 noon on April 4th ONLY.
ECDC will be operating an appointment system for receipt of nominations, as they anticipate receiving somewhere in the region of 500 sets of papers in that time period. ECDC encourages candidates to pass their nomination papers to the Parish Clerk so that they can be delivered en bloc by hand, by the Clerk, rather than them having to book a number of individual appointments per Parish. If there is a problem with any of the papers, they will contact the candidate directly by telephone. For me to do this, I would require your papers to be with me by 6.00pm on Tuesday 29th March so that I can book an appointment for Wednesday 30th March. Please note I will not be able to deliver papers after this date so if you miss this deadline you will be responsible for submitting your own papers.
Obviously, should a candidate wish to deliver their papers in person, that is entirely acceptable – within the full deadline limits stated above and subject to an appointment.
ECDC do not recommend posting any of the forms, as during this time period, there will be several large mailings by Royal Mail across the country (including the census information and voting poll cards) and delays may occur.
Once nominations have closed, ECDC will have until noon on April 6th to produce a statement of persons nominated for Chippenham. They also have until noon on April 7th for anyone wanting to withdraw their nomination papers.
If you are interested in becoming a councillor and have any questions please contact me on 720915.