As a minimum, you would be expected to attend most of the full Council meetings. These are usually held on the second Thursday of every month at 7.30 pm at the Wootton Room at Herne Mill. The Council also has a number of committees, which meet on other nights. The Planning Committee meets about every three weeks, if there is any planning business to consider. The Finance & Resources Committee meet quarterly. Other committees or working groups meet throughout the year as necessary.
You may also get approached by villagers asking you to help them with their problems, for example in issues like planning matters, problems with footpaths or potholes; although the majority of enquiries are directed through the Parish Office.
What sort of people become parish councillors?
All sorts, of all ages, with a wide variety of backgrounds and occupations. The minimum age for standing for election is 18.
Am I eligible?
In order to be a parish councillor you must be aged 18 years or over and be a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of an EU member state and you must qualify to be a parish councillor for Herne & Broomfield in one or more of the following ways:
- be a local government elector in the parish (i.e. on the electoral roll)
- owned or rented land within the parish for the last twelve months
- lived in the parish or within 4.8 kilometres (3 miles) of it for the last twelve months
- worked in the parish for the last twelve months
Many people qualify on more than one of the above grounds.
Do I have to join a political party?
No. Nor do you have to say if you are a member of any party if you are (although if you are elected you would need to declare this on your Register of Interests). The current Parish Councillors prefer to keep party politics out of the council.
I am interested – what do I do now?
The Parish Council is elected every four years, there are 13 places. The next election will take place in May 2011. Last day for nominations is usually about a month beforehand. When there is more than 6 months to go before the full council election, there would be a by-election if any councillor resigns or dies.
For more information contact the Parish Clerk on 01227 742700 or Canterbury City Council Electorial Services 01227 862007.
Also info on NALC link