What can Bere Ferrers Parish Council do?
As Parish Councils were created in law, Bere Ferrers Parish Council can only act within the law by exercising its powers and functions which have been conferred on it by Statutes. The basic responsibility of the Council is to make the lives of its local community more comfortable by representing the whole electorate within the parish, delivering or co-ordinating services to meet local needs and striving to improve quality of life in the parish. It also comments on planning applications. The Parish Council does not receive Council Tax directly from the public, but it is primarily funded from a small percentage of the Council Tax charge made by West Devon Borough Council which it receives a precept twice a year.
Bere Ferrers Parish Council embodies the representation of people’s hopes and concerns for ensuring that local services are provided efficiently and effectively for the benefit of community wellbeing. It is aware of what its community needs and it strives to provide this through team work, accessing grant funding, representation at other meetings and lobbying appropriate bodies. By becoming a Parish Councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support – a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve. What matters to you? What needs changing in the Bere Ferrers Parish – you could be the person to change it!
Bere Ferrers Parish Council consists of 13 residents serving the Bere Pensinula.
As a Parish Councillor you will help:
Decide on how much to raise through the council tax in order to deliver your council’s services, this is known as the Precept
Influencing and shaping the long term development policy for the parish, and as part of the planning process, comment on planning applications in the parish.
Improve the quality of life and the environment of your local area.
Work to identify issues which are important to the lives of the residents of the parish.
Work to bring about improvements through local projects, lobbying other service providers and working in partnership with other parishes and agencies.
How to find out more
If you are thinking about becoming a Councillor then we are happy to chat about what is involved. Please contact the Clerk on 01822 840 7448 / [email protected].
You are welcome to attend any of the public meetings to see how the Council operate.
There are various publications that can assist you with our decision:
Electoral Commission Guidance for Parish Councillors
It takes All Sorts
All About Local Councils
What Are Local Councils
Localism in Practice
Working with Government to Help Communities Help themselves
Being a Good Councillor - Roles & Responsbilities
If you decide to become a parish councillor training is available and you will be given plenty of support from you fellow councillors and the Clerk.
Am I eligible to become a Parish Councillor?
Parish Councillors are either elected or co-opted onto the parish council. The ordinary elections are held every four years.
Any person wishing to be considered to act as a Parish Councillor must be qualified to hold office. Sections 79-81 of the Local Government Act 1972 contain the relevant provisions regarding the qualification of candidates, as follows:
To qualify as a candidate and to continue to hold the office of Parish Councillor a person must be a British or Commonwealth citizen, citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of another Member State of the European Union and, on the relevant day, must have attained the age of eighteen years.
In addition, the candidate must qualify under at least one of the following conditions –
on that day and thereafter s/he continues to be registered as a local government elector for the parish (meaning the whole area of the parish);
during the whole of the 12 months preceding s/he has occupied as owner or tenant land or other premises in the parish;
during the 12 months preceding their principal or only place of work has been in the parish; or
during the whole of the 12 months preceding s/he has been resident in the parish or within 4.8 kilometers of it (of its parish boundary).
It is also necessary that the candidate should not be disqualified from holding the office of Parish Councillor for any reason set out in Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972.
If you do become a parish councillor you will have to sign up to the Code of Conduct.
Once elected, parish councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years. If you want to stay on the parish council then you can stand for re-election.
However, this does not mean you have to stay for four years. If you find it is not for you, or you can no long meet the commitment, you can stand down.
How much time does it take up?
Council & Committees meetings are held every Tuesday evening, details as follows;
Plans & Highways 1st Tuesday of the month
Open Spaces 2nd Tuesday of the month
Finance & General Purposes 3rd Tuesday of the month
Full Council meeting last Tuesday of the month
The Footpaths & Environment Committee meet approx. every 3 months, usually on the 1st Tuesday of the month, after the Plans & Highways Committee meeting. excluding August. As a Councillor you are expected to attend all Full Council meetings and join one Committee.
All the meetings are open to the public and they may be up to two hours, depending on what’s on the list of items to discuss, the agenda for the meeting is advertised on the noticeboards and the website.
To find out if there is currently any vacancies on the Parish Coucnil, please contact the Clerk on [email protected].