Your Parish Councillors
The role of the Parish Council Chair
The Chair is responsible for ensuring that effective and lawful decisions are taken at meetings of the council and, assisted by the clerk, guides activities by managing the meetings of the council. The Chair is responsible for involving all councillors in discussion and ensuring that councillors keep to the point. The Chair summarises the debate and facilitates the making of clear resolutions and is responsible for keeping discussions moving so that the meeting is not too long. Their first vote is a personal vote as a member of the council. If there is a tied vote, the Chair can have a second, casting vote.
- Holds a statutory post defined in law
- Is a member of the Council and is elected annually
- Has the authority at meetings and must be obeyed when issuing lawful direction or direction in line with Standing Orders.
- Is the interface between the public and Council
- Welcomes speakers and makes them ‘feel at home’
- Makes sure decisions are clear for the clerk to act upon.
The role of Parish Councillors
A councillor’s primary role is to represent their parish and the people who live in it. Councillors provide a bridge between the community and the council. As well as being an advocate for local residents and signposting them to the right people at the council, you will need to keep them informed about the issues that affect them.
In order to understand and represent local views and priorities, you need to build strong relationships and encourage local people to make their views known and engage with you and the council. Good communication and engagement are central to being an effective councillor.
As a local councillor, your residents will expect you to:
- respond to their queries and investigate their concerns (casework)
- communicate council decisions that affect them
- know your patch and be aware of any problems
- know and work with representatives of local organisations, interest groups and businesses
- represent their views at council meetings
- lead local campaigns on their behalf.