Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire


Parish Councillor role description

Parish councillor role description borrowed from the Norfolk County Association of Parish and Town Council (NCAPTC) Website...


Details of the role of a parish councillor and the qualities required in a person who does the job (called person specification).

Further information

Description of the role

Role Parish Councillor
Responsible to All people resident within the Parish
Regular liaison with Other councillors, local authorities, residents
Period of service Four years with possible extension.
Salary This is a voluntary position with some expenses able to be paid in certain cases.


Main purpose

Representing the views of all residents within your parish.

Secondary purpose

History of parish councils

Parish councils have their origins in medieval times, in an era when money was seldom used and when few people lived in the countryside. Communities came together in order to organise land management, agriculture and settle disputes.

The current system of parish councils was formed in 1896. There are currently around 10,000 parish councils in the country.

Any community can ask to have a parish council and, in fact, many new parishes have been formed in recent years -particularly in urban areas.

Local councils have evolved considerably over the last 1000 or so years, but one thing remains the same: they are the tier of local government which is closest to individual communities and therefore have the greatest potential for identifying, understanding and addressing the needs of the communities they serve.

While some larger councils are run along party political lines, there is no expectation that you have to join a political party. The vast majority of parish councils are not split by party politics.

Persons specification

Over 21 and on the electoral register
A resident of the parish for which you are standing (although there are certain exceptions)
Able to attend regular evening meetings
Interest in local issues and things which affect people.
Keen to improve the local environment and quality of life.  
An understanding and willingness to represent the views of the whole community.
An interest in learning and developing your role in the community  

Support and training

Training and advice for parish councillors is provided for Parish Councillors.

How to find out more

The National Association of Local Councils has a website or you could attend a parish or town council meeting and talk to existing councillors or to a clerk.

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