The Parish Council is looking for two Hertford Heath residents to join the Parish Council.
What is a Parish Council?
A Parish Council is a local authority closest to the community. It makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish and represents their interests. Being an obvious part of the community, the Parish Council is normally the first place residents go with concerns, ideas, or anything else. In Hertford Heath, the county council is the next level of local government above us.
What decisions do Parish Councils make?
Most often, Parish Councils play a part in:
- Planning issues as they are statutory consultees (planning authorities are legally required to consult the Parish Council before reaching a decision on planning applications);
- Crime prevention;
- Managing open and shared spaces;
- Campaigning for better services and facilities; and
- Delivering those facilities
That said, Parish Councils have limited powers to make decisions. But, they do have the ability to negotiate with and the power to influence other organisations that do make the final decisions. Why do they have that power? Because those organisations know that a Parish Council gives the best representation of how a community's feelings and opinions.
Hertford Heath has 9 Parish Councillors, including the Chairperson.
We meet monthly on the first Monday. Full Council meetings can be up to 2-hours depending on the agenda and items to be discussed. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend these meetings.
In addition to the "Full Council" we have 6 Committees which councillors can sit on:
- Finance and Administration
- Planning and Development
Each of those committees meets once a month for an hour. Councillors tend to sit on 2 or 3 committees that align with their skill sets or interests.
How much time does it take up?
As mentioned above, councillors are expected to attend all full council meetings as well as their various committee meetings. Of course, apologies are taken when there is an unavoidable conflict! So, if you are sitting on 3 committees, expect 5 hours of meetings a month. As you get involved with different projects, of course, they will require time from you--perhaps 1-2 hours a week per project.
In addition, keeping on top of your inbox is expected. But responses are not expected to be immediate. Checking your email once a day would absolutely be sufficient.
Am I eligible to be a Parish Councillor?
To be eligible for co-option as a Hertford Heath Parish Councillor you must be a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union; and on the ‘relevant date’ (i.e. the day on which you are nominated or if there is a poll the day of the election) be 18 years of age or over; and (one of the following):
- be registered as a local government elector for the parish; or
- for the whole of the previous 12 months, occupied, as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the parish; or
- for the whole of the previous 12 months, worked within the parish as your principal or only place of work; or
- for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.
The best way to find out what it’s like to be a Parish Councillor is to talk to someone who’s doing it now. Come along to a Parish Council meeting, or speak to one of our councillors and find out what they think of the job.
Meet Your Councillors And Ask Your Questions
Information on all the current councillors is available here. Including contact information - feel free to reach out, we'd love to hear from you!