|New Councillors from May 2015?
It is quite a few years since Clare had to call an election to appoint its nine town councillors. Over some periods it has been a struggle to fill the required number of seats. With newcomers to the town and a healthy interest in several recent events there are indications that this situation is about to change.
Why is this important?
Underrepresentation of some groups (young people etc) in Town and Parish Councils is worrying for our democracy because it makes these councils seem less legitimate. Holding contested elections is important because it shows that no group or individual has a monopoly of decisions in the Town.
Recruiting people to stand for town councillor is not easy because there are a number of barriers and we should be very grateful to those who already come forward and give their time to this important work.
Who is eligible?
You need be 18 or over on the day of nomination, and be British or a citizen of the commonwealth or EU.
The further qualifications are:
- You live in the town, parish or ward and your name has been on the electoral roll for the parish or town for which you are standing for the whole 12 months before your nomination,
and / or
- You are occupying as owner or tenant any land or premises within the parish or town for the whole 12 months before your nomination,
- Your main place of work including voluntary work has been within the town or parish for the whole 12 months before your nomination,
- You have lived in the town, parish or ward or within 3 miles of it for the whole 12 months before nomination
How can you stand?
The nomination process requires that two forms are correctly completed and submitted within the time allowed by law. These are i) the nomination paper and ii) the candidate's consent to nomination. Nomination papers must be signed by a proposer and seconder both of whom must be electors for the Parish and delivered at St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Offices. The deadline for nominations will be 9th April and a list of persons nominated will be available on 10th. The papers are available from www.westsuffolk.gov.uk.
Clare Town Council has a meeting on the third Thursday evening of every month and this lasts for around two hours. In addition there are the Environment , Finance and Planning Committees which also meet monthly.
Councillors are expected to sit on two committees plus attend the Town Council meetings. There is always some additional work to be done between meetings but the volume will depend on the willingness of the individual.
What are you likely to discuss?
The Council has a responsibility, partially or wholly, for most things which affect the town including the greenswards, the cemetery and churchyard, street cleaning, and planning and development.
Examples of recent involvement and activity can be found in Town Council minutes.
Election day Thursday 7th May 2015 may seem a long way ahead but now may be a good time to start thinking. If you need more information attend a Town Council meeting and see firsthand what goes on or contact our clerk, Claire Ebeling on 01787 277 559 or email email@example.com.
Story By: Town Clerk
Date : 26-03-2015