Newton Longville Parish Council

History and Role of Councillors

The Parish is the most ancient type of local government unit in Europe and in England has been used for some civil purposes since the eighth century.

Parish Councils and Parish Meetings were founded by the Local Government Act of 1894 and brought about the separation of local civil government from the Church. Since then power has derived from a number Acts of Parliament.

Anyone who is aged 21 years or over, is a British subject, a citizen of the Commonwealth, a citizen of the Irish Republic or the European Union and is either an elector or works in the Parish or lives within 3 miles of the Parish is entitled to stand as a Parish Councillor.

There are two methods of becoming a Parish Councillor, the first is to be elected at the four yearly elections and the second method is to be co-opted to fill a vacancy. Once elected, all Councillors are required to sign an ‘Acceptance of Office’ which is witnessed by the ‘Proper Officer’ for the Parish Council.

Being a Parish Councillor gives you an opportunity to be involved in all decisions of importance in the Parish. It gives the opportunity to be involved in local and strategic planning for many facets of life. Being a Parish Councillor means you are nearest to the people whom you represent and upon whom you have levied a precept. The role of councillor brings no special privileges other than the satisfaction of serving your local community.

The Role of the Clerk

Just as Parish Councils are a tier of Local Government, the Clerk to the Parish Council is an officer of Local Government. The Clerk guides the Council on points of law and procedure and is the person to whom all correspondence is addressed. The Clerk calls all meetings, except the Annual Parish Meeting, maintains the records, pays invoices and maintains accounts, and conducts correspondence.

Notice of Meetings

Three clear days notice must be given of all meetings with a summons to all Councillors to include the date, time and venue of the meeting with an agenda specifying in detail the business to be transacted. Similar notices must be displayed on public notice boards in the Parish. Members of the public are entitled to attend Parish Council meetings, committee and sub committee meetings although they may not take part in the proceedings.