Badingham Parish Council is looking for new Councillors
In recent months, things have been changing for the parish council. Three new Councillors – Maurice Bowe, Lisa Sweeney and Thomas Mountain were co-opted over the last few months. The new chair of the Council is Thomas Mountain, being elected at the May AGM, with Maurice as the new Vice-Chair. Caroline Emeny is the new Clerk/RFO.
But, we need 4 more Councillors in order to be up to full quota.
So, what does a Parish Councillor do?
Basically, look after and make decisions about local community assets and issues – for instance
· Looking after the Pocket Park and its equipment
· ensuring that footpaths and verges are maintained
· providing benches, dog bins, and rubbish bins
· liaising with Suffolk highways about road problems
· making recommendations about planning applications (note – East Suffolk District Council have the final say!)
· putting on community events
· providing grants to local community organisations
· providing green initiatives – for instance an electric charging point
· providing notice boards and a website
· developing relationships to be a lynchpin between the community, other groups in the area and the District and County Councils
And that is not an endless list. The list of powers that a parish council has is pages long from buying town clocks, maintaining war memorials and donating to the maintenance of the burial grounds.
Badingham Parish Council is wanting to move forward with new ideas and ways to work within the community, but we need more Councillors to do it. At the last meeting that we had, we started to develop a plan of improvements and actions for the village. This included items such as:
· Improving the area around the Village Hall into a community garden space.
· Installing an electrical car charging point and working on green/environmental initiatives.
· Setting up a footpath working party to monitor and develop the footpaths
· Investigate the needs for more dog waste bins, benches and possibly a bus shelter.
The actual work in organising and administrating the Council is mostly done by the Clerk but Badingham PC would like to have enough Councillors that could represent the Council in other areas. For instance, appointing a Trustee of the Village Hall, assigning a Councillor to look after the land assets as well as Pocket Park, have a Councillor attend meetings of the PCC.
How much work is it?
There is normally one meeting per month which lasts about 1 ½ - 2 hours. There is reading to do to be ready for the meeting and you may put yourself forward to take on a task outside the meeting. Every 4 years there are elections where, if you wish to, you stand for re-election.
Why do it?
As a Councillor, you will be able to influence the Council on the issues that you think are important and raise items to be discussed. You will be able to pass on comments and suggestions and complaints that you have received in your day-to-day life in the village and feedback to individuals what the result was.
Sometimes, parish Councillors attend planning meetings at East Suffolk District Council to make representations on behalf of Council or work with Highways to improve the roads and environment. There is also a chance to be involved in raising grants for village improvements.
The role of Parish Councillor is unpaid but there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained when people in the village appreciate the Council for something that has been completed.
Who can be a Councillor
Basically, as long as you live or work in or within 3 miles of the parish, are on the electoral register and don’t have a criminal record, you can apply. If you still aren’t sure, then talk to one of the current Councillors or best still, come to a meeting. The public are always welcome. Our website, currently under review, has information about the meetings and the other Councillors.
How to apply
Contact the Clerk or the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Council who will talk things through with you. Once you are happy to apply, then we would appreciate a short summary of why you are interested.
Once you are co-opted or elected to Council, training will be provided, and you’ll find us a friendly bunch.
Emery – Clerk Email:Badinghamclerk@gmail.com or contact any Councillor - see details under Councillors and Staff.
Our next meetings
31st October, 12th December, 30th January, 12th March, 23rd April, 28th May.