Parish councils form the most local level of government, primarily in rural areas of the English counties. Our county, Northamptonshire, has some 208 parishes with councils, plus 51 parish meetings that don’t hold elections. Together they cover almost all the rural parts of the county.
King’s Sutton Parish Council has an overall responsibility for the well-being of our local neighbourhood, which comprises the hamlets of Astrop, Upper Astrop and Little Purston as well as the village of King’s Sutton itself. For the most part, our work falls into three main categories:
In addition to our own responsibilities, we often work hand in glove with South Northamptonshire Council, Northamptonshire County Council and other local organisations to ensure the effective delivery of services to the local community. Click here for listings of the different areas of responsibility of each tier of local government: King’s Sutton Parish Council, South Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire County Council.
King’s Sutton Parish Council comprises 11 councillors with an electorate of around 1,800 people. Councillors are elected every four years to represent residents of the village and the smaller communities within the parish. To be eligible for election, candidates must be 18 years or older and live in the area. In the event that there are not enough candidates standing for election to fill all the available places on the council, additional members are co-opted.
Councillors have three main areas of work:
Decision-making – Through participating in meetings, committees and working groups with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.
Monitoring – Councillors ensure their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.
Getting involved locally – As local representatives, councillors are answerable to their constituents and local organisations. Dependant on circumstances, the day-to-day work of a King’s Sutton parish councillor may include:
Parish councillors are bound by a code of conduct, which can be viewed here.
Click here to view the parish council details held by South Northamptonshire Council, including the members’ register of interests.
The full council usually meets in the Oman Room at the parish church at 19:30 on the first Thursday of each month and holds an annual general meeting in the main hall in April. Members of the public are free to attend any meeting of the full council unless exceptional circumstances call for a closed meeting. Committees and working groups set up by the council to address different needs meet either regularly or on an ad hoc basis. (Note that Planning Committee meetings precede meetings of the full council in the Oman Room and usually start at 19:00.)
As a councillor you can become a voice for your community and affect real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the aspirations of the people they serve. Parish councillors directly engage with the most local part of our democratic system and are closest to the public. By standing for your parish council you could make a real difference to your local neighbourhood. To find out more about joining King’s Sutton Parish Council, call the Parish Clerk on 01295 816905 (or use the email link below) for more information.blog comments powered by Disqus