Becoming a Parish Councillor

To qualify to be a Parish Councillor you must be:

  • A British citizen, a citizen of this Irish Republic or a citizen of any member state of the European Union.
  • Over 18 on the day that he or she is nominated as a candidate
  • A registered local government elector
  • Resident in the parish, or within 3 miles of the parish, or working full time in the parish for at least 12 months prior to the nomination or election day. 

A person is disqualified from holding office as a Parish Councillor if:

  • They hold a paid office, or other place of profit in the Council
  • They have been declared bankrupt in the past five years and have not repaid their debts
  • They have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to more than 3 years imprisonment within the last five years
  • They incur illegal expenditure (when acting as a Councillor) of over £2,000, or are found guilty of using corrupt or illegal practices

The Role of the Parish Councillor
A Councillor is a member of the council and is normally elected for a term of four years. People of any political or religious persuasion are eligible to become a Councillor, although their personal views should not extend into their parish council work. They are elected to represent the interests of the local community as a whole and promote a harmonious local environment. The number of elected councillors depends on the size of the area (7 in the case of Wimbish). Councillors attend meetings of the full council and often participate in committees that deal with specific areas of council business. Councillors take collective decisions that form the policy of the council.

Some training is available for new councillors, for example the Essex Association of Local Councils run training courses.