What is a Councillor?
Councillors are elected to represent an individual geographical unit on the council, known as a Ward. Sutton Cheney Parish Council consists of 7 Elected Councillors from the following Wards: Dadlington (3), Sutton Cheney (2) and Shenton (2).
Councillors have three main components to their work.
Decision Making – Through meetings and attending committees 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 make sure that 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 have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations.
These responsibilities and duties often depend on what the Councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available and may include:
- Going to meetings of local organisations
- Going to meetings of bodies affecting the wider community
- Taking up issues on behalf of members of the public
Getting Involved Locally...
Quite often Councillors say that their duties occupy them for about two or three hours a week. Obviously there are some Councillors who spend more or less time than this. But in the main, being a Parish Councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work.
Will I get paid for being a Councillor? Councillors do not receive a salary. However Sutton Cheney Parish Councillors are entitled to reclaim mileage incurred while on council business.
What training and support is available?
Yes - full support and training are offered to Councillors upon being elected. Specfiic training sessions are regularly arranged by the Leicestershire and Rutland Association of Local Councils.
Am I qualified?
Most people are - however there are a few rules:
You have to be a British subject, a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union
- Be aged 18 years or over
- You have to be registered as a Local Government Elector for the Parish on the current Electoral Register
- Have during the whole of the previous 12 months occupied as tenant or owner of any land or premises in the Parish
- Has had his/her principal or only place of work in te previous 12 months in the Parish
- Has resided either in the Parish or within 3 miles thereof during the last 12 months.
You cannot become a Parish Councillor if you are subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order, have, within five years, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine.
You also can't work for the council you want to become a Councillor for (but you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area).
Our councillors are all elected or co-opted onto the Council, if you would like to become a councillor or find out more about what they do then simply contact the Parish Clerk for more information.
Councillors' Code of Conduct
Sutton Cheney Parish Council, as a public authority, believes in promoting the highest standards in public life and therefore has adopted the following General Principles of Conduct which are the basis of the ethical standards expected of public office holders:
Selflessness - Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Integrity - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
Objectivity - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Openness - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Honesty - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Leadership - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example
The Members' Code of Conduct
In order to underpin these ethical standards and in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, the Council has adopted a Code of Conduct for Parish Councillors (whether elected or co-opted), who required to abide by the code.
The National Association of Local Councils have issued introductory guides to new Councillors. These can be viewed below.
If you would like to become a councillor or find out more about what they do then simply contact the Parish Clerk for more information.