Becoming a Parish Councillor

What do Parish Councillors do?

When people in the community need guidance, it is often the parish council that is turned to for support. By becoming a Parish Councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support. 

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 (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities. 

Once elected, Parish Councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years.  If they then want to stay in the post they can stand for re-election. 

Am I eligible to be a Parish Councillor?

To stand for election on a parish council, you must:

  • be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or;
  • be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or;
  • be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union;
  • be a least 18 years old.

 To be eligible to stand for an election for a particular parish, you must:

  • be an elector of the parish, or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
  • during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.

 You don’t have to be connected to a political party. If you do become a Parish Councillor you will have to sign up to the Code of Conduct.

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. Speak to current Parish Councillors if you can, or the clerk to the parish council will be a helpful point of contact and can provide further information about standing as a Parish Councillor.