When a vacancy exists, there are two ways to become a parish councillor; firstly to be ‘co-opted’ if a vacancy arises or, secondly, to put your name forward at the next parish council election. The first step is to contact us in writing, that you wish to be considered as a Councillor and enclose a brief CV. Your details will be kept on file until there is a vacancy or, an election is called. If a vacancy does arise you will be asked to an informal interview and given an information pack on becoming a councillor. You would then be asked to a full Parish Council meeting where councillors will be given the opportunity to talk to you – it is not as daunting as it sounds! – after which the council will vote on your co-option. If there is an election your name will be put forward on the ballot papers with other prospective councillors.
What is involved in becoming a councillor? You need no special qualifications to become a councillor, but must have resided within 3 miles of the parish for at least a year. We welcome all age groups, but you must be over 18 and, there is no upper age limit.
All councillors are ‘volunteers’ and give their time freely and willingly for the benefit of the whole community.
There is a full council meeting once per month and there are five committees that meet normally on a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm – all meetings are held at the Steyning Centre. You will be asked to serve on at least two committees. Some committees are busier than others and may need sub-committees to do more detailed work – these sub-committees meet at a time that is convenient to all those involved in them.
People often ask “how many hours a week does it involve?” With a full council and two committee meetings per month this will involve about 6 hours per month (2 hours per meeting) for meetings. You can involve yourself in the sub-committees as much as or, as little, as your time allows. Councillors are encouraged to be as active and engaged in all community issues, researching and leading projects when necessary.
Serving on the Parish Council is a rewarding experience and you CAN make a difference! Without the dedication of past and present parish councillors Steyning would not be the town it is today and, with the advent of the Localism Act 2011 more responsibilities have been devolved to local councils, so become a councillor and help us to continue to maintain the high standards that make Steyning an outstanding place to live, work and to visit!