A parish council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. It is the level of local government closest to the community, with Cornwall Council as the unitary authority above it in the hierarchy.
Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters.
Parish councils have limited powers to make decisions but they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as Cornwall Council, health authorities, police etc.). In this respect parish councils are extremely powerful. The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something and its views will be taken seriously.
By becoming a parish councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support – a community leader, representing the views of the residents, with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve.
In order to be eligible to become a St Stephen in Brannel parish councillor you must be a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union; and on the ‘relevant date’ (i.e. the day on which you are nominated or if there is a poll the day of the election) be 18 years of age or over; and additionally able to meet one of the following statements set out below –
- I am registered as a local government elector for the parish; or
- I have, during the whole of the twelve months preceding the date of my co-option, occupied as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the parish; or
- My principal or only place of work during those twelve months has been in the parish; or
- I have during the whole of twelve months resided in the parish or within 3 miles of it.
The best way to find out what it’s like to be a parish councillor is to talk to someone who’s doing it now. Come along to a parish council meeting, speak to one of the existing councillors and find out what they think of the job.
If you feel this is a role that you would like to undertake, please contact the parish council office for more details.