Skip to content

A Councillor… Who Me?

Could You be a Parish or Town Councillor and Take a Lead in Providing Services in Your Community?

A PDF version of this information is available to download: A Councillor… Who Me 2021 (PDF, 175KB)

What Can My Local Council Do?

The powers of a parish or town council are wide and various. The Council exists as the most localised form of government and is there to serve and represent the parish or town and their residents and electors.

  • Playing fields.
  • Special projects.

These are just some of the areas where your parish council can act to improve the town and villages, its amenities and support to local people.

Parish Councils play a major role in local consultation.

  • County consultation on waste, tourism, education and transport.
  • Consultation on planning in your parish, local plans for your area, provision of services within your district and parish.
  • Government consultation on legislation which might affect the future of your village, county, region or country.
  • Forming local policy – neighbourhood plans and emergency plans.

Being a Councillor is Worthwhile?

Being a local Councillor can be a rewarding experience; here are some views of current Parish and Town Councillors:

“I have fought hard to make my village a better place and for me it has been an enriching experience.”

“The best part of being a Councillor is working with the community that you serve, along with other councillors, to achieve the very best outcome for everyone”

Cllr Helen Price, Local Councillor and Chairman of the Cornwall Association of Local Councils adds:

“Councillors are people from all walks of life, from all age groups who wish to give a little of their time and expertise to representing their community. A good parish council is active for its people, representative of and listening to ALL sections of its community. Such a council can only be achieved by a council drawn from a variety of different people from every adult age group.
They are people like you!”

A Councillor … Who Me?

To be a Local Councillor you must be at least 18 and a British, Commonwealth or European Citizen. You also need to be a local elector or have lived, worked or owned a property in the parish for at least a year.

Why Would I Want to be a Councillor?

People stand for election for many reasons:

  • To speak on behalf of the local community and help local people.
  • To contribute professional skills to their community.
  • To shape the future of their local community.

Councillors play a vital role in shaping and directing the effectiveness of local services for the benefit of local people. They work with public, private and charitable bodies to improve their community.

The role of a Councillor can be varied at the best of times. Your council is the voice and champion of the parish. Being a local councillor can be exciting, intimidating, interesting and even frustrating at times. Above all it is a chance to make a real difference in the place where you live.

What’s Involved in Being a Councillor?

Local councils normally meet monthly and may also hold additional meetings to discuss particular issues. You will need to attend regularly and be prepared to give time to being a councillor.

You will be asked to complete a public register of interests published on the Cornwall Council website, and to abide by the local council’s code of conduct.

You will be asked to keep an open mind, and take part in decision making for your area including spending money for local services and facilities.

So How do I Get Elected?

Local Council elections will be held on May 6th, 2021. Further information including links to the nomination papers will be available before the election from the council’s website by 15 March 2021.

To find out more about what’s involved in being a Councillor, contact the Cornwall Association of Local Councils:

Tel Truro (01872) 272648

If I Am Elected

What would my time commitment be?

  • It will depend on the extent of your involvement and what role you choose take in the work of the Council.
  • Most local Councils meet once or twice a month.
  • The average length of a meeting is 2 hours.

Can I afford it?

  • Councillors are volunteers, but costs for approved travel and subsistence outside of the parish can be reimbursed.

What initial help will be given?

  • Each Council is supported by a Clerk who is knowledgeable in Council procedures. The Clerk is always ready to advise new councillors.

Will I receive any form of training?

  • Training, seminars and courses for Councillors are organised throughout the year across the county.
  • Topics include the basic functions of local councils and the skills needed to make decisions on behalf of your community.

Will I receive any other support?

  • Parish and Town Councils are supported by the National Association of Local Councils, through the County Association. The Association is there to offer legal advice, training and general support to all its members.

A PDF version of this information is available to download: A Councillor… Who Me 2021 (PDF, 175KB)