The role of a Parish Councillor has a number of basic responsibilities which essentially fall within three main categories: representing the whole electorate within the parish; delivering services to meet local needs; and striving to improve quality of life in the parish. Parish Councils can “precept” – raising a sum collected with the Council Tax each year to improve facilities and services for local people.
Individual powers include the provision and maintenance of community transport schemes, traffic calming measures, local youth projects, tourism activities, leisure facilities, car parks, village greens, litter bins, street lighting, street cleaning, burial grounds, allotments, bus shelters, commons, opens spaces, footpaths, bridleways, and crime reduction measures. They can also comment on planning applications.
Councillors have three main components to their work.
- Decision making – Through meetings and attending committees with other elected members, Councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be im plemented.
- Monitoring – Councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.
- Getting involved locally – As local representatives, Councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations.