Local Council Elections Thursday 2 May 2019

Becoming a Parish or Town Councillor

The Parish Council is the tier of local government closest to the people.  A Town Council is a Parish Council that has decided to call itself a Town Council.  Elected councillors are responsible for spending public money lawfully and without risk, and for achieving the best value for money and representing the views of the local community.

North Tawton Town Council is responsible for:

  • maintenance of the churchyard
    owns and maintains the cemetery, and is the burial authority
    the Memorial Park
    the Town Centre and Memorial Park car parks
    the public toilets in Market Street

Councillors have an opportunity to make a real difference to their community, at a small cost in time and effort.  Have you considered becoming a Parish Councillor? It may be easier and more rewarding than you think.  But what is involved? Here is some background information you might find interesting.

What does a parish councillor do?

Councillors represent the electors in their parish ward.  They are accessible to residents to listen to their concerns and to deal with them or to pass them for action to the appropriate authorities directly or via the Town Clerk. 

Councillors may represent the Council on local bodies and in meetings with other authorities.  They help formulate responses to county or national consultations when relevant local issues are involved. 

Councillors can provide leadership on local initiatives.  In North Tawton councillors and residents are developing the Neighbourhood Plan which identifies the key features that characterise the parish of North Tawton,  and sets out how change can be managed to maintain the distinctiveness of the area.  The document serves as a guide for planning applications as well as a reference for West Devon Borough Council on the Town Council’s views. 

The work of the Council involves time – meetings have to be attended, planning applications and other documents have to be reviewed.  The work load varies, but an average weekly estimate of 3–5 hours is usually required.  In return is the enormous satisfaction of putting something back into the community. 

Councillors have support in performing their duties.  The posts of Town Clerk and Administrative Assistant are paid positions, and provide experienced people to look after the administration of the council as well offering advice and guidance to the councillors.

Training is available to the new councillor which is of high quality and covers all aspects of the role. 

For more information please refer to the attachments below, and also check out this link: