What is a Parish Council?
A parish council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish.
It is the level of government closest to the community, with the district and county authority above it in the hierarchy.
As the authority closest to the people, we are invariably the first port of call people go to with their concerns or ideas.
For this reason, we are a vital part of any community.
What decisions do Parish Councils make?
Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.
On their own, parish councils have limited powers to make decisions.
However, they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions and, in this respect, parish councils are extremely powerful.
The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something and our views are taken seriously.
Ennerdale and Kinniside Parish Council has 8 councillors.
The duties and functions of a parish council are many and varied so it is an interesting position to hold.
We meet on the third Tuesday of January, March, May, July, September and November. Meeting length will depend on the items on the agenda to be discussed.
We discuss and decide upon planning applications and any other matters referred to it by local residents.
There is also an annual parish meeting which all parishioners are invited to.
All meetings are advertised on the council notice board and website.
Residents can bring to the attention of the parish council anything that concerns them, either directly or through the clerk.
If matters raised are not the responsibility of the council, the clerk can bring them to the attention of the proper authority.
How long does a parish councillor serve for?
Once elected, parish councillors sit on the council for a term of four years.
If they then want to stay in the post they can stand for re-election.
Councillors can also be co-opted.
This requires the prospective candidate to write a brief resumé and attend a parish meeting for a short informal interview.
The councillors will then take a vote and appoint the most suitable candidate.
Am I eligible to be a Parish Councillor?
To be able to become a councillor for Ennerdale and Kinniside Parish Council, you must:
- be an elector of the parish, or;
- for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
- during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or;
- for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.
- be a least 18 years old.