Today, there are 10,000 local councils in England, with 100,000 councillors on town and parish councils, the lowest tier of government in England who give residents a voice on the decisions the council makes. Prospective councillors should know that through the work of a councillor, they can make a real difference in our community.
The work Middleham’s council does is both exciting and rewarding, including construction of the Civic Burial Ground, play area improvements, providing support through volunteers during Covid, agreeing maintenance plans for the Busks, Town Wastes, discussing the Moors with the trainers and working with the groups that run the Key Centre and the Playing Fields. An integral part of this work is the job councillors do: engaging with local people, groups and businesses to find out their needs; making decisions on the services and projects the council should take forward; and getting involved to ensure services are meeting the community’s needs. Smaller Councils also liaise with the District and County Councils regarding services that they provide, such a street cleaning and rubbish collection, street lighting and highways.
Elections are normally held every 4 years but the current term of office ends after 3 and the next election will be held in 5 years, an exception to the usual cycle due to the Unitary Authority being introduced in 2023. This is therefore an opportunity for people who want to come forward to improve the quality of life for their fellow residents to see and stand for election.
Further details are available in the attached links:
Q&A: What residents need to know about becoming a local councillor
Who can stand?
There are only a few rules to stand for election. Residents must be:
- A British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth, or the European Union
- 18 years of age or older
- Live in an area that is served by a local council
Does the role require much time to be dedicated to it?
On average, it will be three hours a week. This often includes attending meetings, engaging with residents and speaking on behalf of the council to other bodies. Decisions by Council can only be taken in formal meetings, which are open to the public. There is a normally paperwork that councillors need to read before making those decisions. No specific skills or knowledge are required, councils all have a clerk who provides guidance and administrative support.
How can people apply to stand?
Contact David Keep, Town Clerk, Middleham Town Council, Middleham Key Centre, Park Lane, Middleham, DL8 4RA Email: email@example.com Website: www.middlehamtowncouncil.co.uk 07531 580499