An election is scheduled every four years with the next being May 2022. This is a time when all councillors must stand down though they will remain eligible for re-election. Candidates must be nominated by two electors.
If we have seven candidates or fewer, then those nominated are elected without a ballot. These councillors can then fill casual vacancies by co-option.
It might be thought that being a councillor is an onerous task with all the activities and responsibilities involved. However we aim to keep meetings to a couple of hours and are as informal as we can be when dealing with formal business and light hearted moments frequently punctuate the formal proceedings.
Once elected, councillors are required to declare prescribed interests and to state during each meeting if they have either a personal or prejudicial interest in any subject which may come under consideration. If the interest is not prejudicial members may contribute to the discussion and vote. If it is prejudicial, they must leave the room and cannot participate in discussion or cast a vote.
Our Council normally meets at monthly intervals apart from August, although by law the Council is required to meet on a minimum of only four occasions per year. The “Annual Meeting” of the Council usually takes place in May but in an election year must be held on the day, or within fourteen days, of the day new councillors take office. Part of the business of this meeting is the election of the chairman and vice chairman.
The Annual Village Meeting, usually in April, is a public meeting and is an opportunity for the Council to report its activities and accounts and for parishioners to express their views to the Council.
Public meetings can be held on other occasions for specific purposes but there are strict rules governing their administration. All council meetings have a formal agenda and are open to the public and press and time is set aside to hear individual views and comments of parishioners. We also invite our local District and County Councillors and community policeman to every meeting.
Council meetings are held in the Village Hall and the agendas and minutes are posted on the parish notice boards; individual copies are available from the Parish Clerk on request. Every meeting has a 10 minute open forum for member of the public to raise issues.