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NOTICE OF VACANCY – TOWN COUNCILLOR

Middleham has 7 Town Councillors.  Following the sad loss of Cllr Nigel Hopper, there is a vacancy for a new Councillor.  If you would like to be considered, you are invited to send a written expression of interest to the Town Clerk’s office (either by letter or email tooffice@middlehamtowncouncil.co.uk) by midday on Wednesday 31 August 2022.  The vacancy will be filled by co-option at the council meeting to be held at 6.30pm on Wednesday 7 September 2022.  Each candidate will be invited to say a few words about themselves at that meeting, which will be held at the Key Centre.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be 18 years old or over; and at least one of the following):
  • be registered as local government elector for the parish; and / or
  • have during the whole of the preceding 12 months occupied as owner or tenant land or other premises in the parish; and / or
  • had your principal or only place of work during the preceding 12 months in the parish; and / or
  • have during the whole of the preceding 12 months resided in the parish or within 4.8 kilometres of it.

There are potential disqualifications relating to bankruptcy restriction orders, criminal convictions and having been imprisoned.  This does not necessarily render a candidate ineligible however Council needs to be aware.

If you are unsure what being a councillor involves, a ‘job description’ is pasted belo.  This is not a legally-binding document, but hopefully illustrates the roles that councillors may undertake.

If you wish to discuss the role and the co-option process, please speak to any Councillor or the Clerk.

David Keep

Town Clerk

 

Generic Role Description

Duties:

To attend meetings (having received a legal summons)

To sign a declaration acceptance of office (statutory form)

To complete a Register of Interest form within 28 days of taking office and update this within 28 days of any changes.

Abide by the council’s Code of Conduct (i.e. standard of behaviour expected of those holding public office), part of which is observance of the Nolan Principles

To always act impartially

To act as a member of the whole (corporate council) and not to act unilaterally on behalf of the council.

To have an open mind on an issue and only come to a view when all the facts have been received (predetermination).

The Role:

To be a conduit, i.e., communicate, between the parishioners and the council.

Responsibilities:

Of an individual councillor:

  • To understand that you are a member of a local authority that is governed by legislation and can only do as law permits.
  • Understanding the role of a councillor, its remit, and limitations
  • Understanding council processes – how it works, how change can and should be actioned.
  • Understanding the legal process for convening and administration of meetings
  • Understanding lawful decision making (i.e., how this happens to accord with legislation)
  • Being aware of and understanding council policies (which are relevant to particular situations); example, Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and committee terms of reference (not an exhaustive list)
  • Being prepared for meetings
  • Participating at meetings
  • Voting at meetings
  • Declaring any interests in business to be transacted at a meeting.
  • Ensuring apologies are sent for any meetings you are unable to attend and providing a reason for that absence if you want it to be considered by the council.
  • Understand the Nolan principles and uphold high standards of behaviour expected of you, as a holder of public office.
  • Respect your fellow councillors and council officers and if an issue arises, follow the correct methods for resolve and resolution.
  • Not seek to profit in any way from the office of councillor, ie nothing for your own ends.
  • Represent the community regardless of politics, age, gender or ward area

Finance:

You are a member of the council which is a corporate body responsible for the management and safeguarding of the public funds held by the council.

Correct financial management ensures the council has policies and procedures in place to protect the council from employee or councillor fraud.

Employment:

You are a member of the council which is a corporate body responsible for the employment of all council employees; all the responsibilities and obligations associated with the employment of staff.

For example:

  • Recruitment
  • Contracts of Employment
  • Wages
  • Annual Leave
  • Performance management
  • Grievance and disciplinary matters
  • Appraisals
  • Pensions
  • Registration for PAYE and all other HMRC related employment matters
  • Health and Safety at Work (including employee wellbeing)

    Data Protection:

You are a member of the council, which is a corporate body responsible, as the data controller, for the lawful handling of personal data processed by the council.

Planning:

You are a member of the council, which is a corporate body responsible for responding effectively, and with regard to planning legislation, planning policy (both national and local), and materials considerations, etc to the Local Planning Authority effectively on planning applications within the council area.

Trusteeship:

If the council is a sole trustee, you will be responsible for governance of a charity together with your fellow councillors.
Occasionally, a trust deed will commit a local councillor to be an individual charity trustee.
A council can also be a custodian trustee of a charity and if this is the case, you, together with your fellow councillors, will be responsible for the responsibilities that this brings (few responsibilities).

Other activities of the council:

Together with your fellow councillors, i.e. as a corporate body, administer and manage the services and facilities that the council provides.  The ‘administration’ and ‘management’ is wide ranging and will likely be for a wide range of functions such as provision of a cemetery, streetlighting, play equipment, transport, buildings for the community to hire, allotments, providing community transport, sports and recreation facilities, possibly economic development opportunities, village greens, common land and markets.