Empowering Parish and Town Councils in Northamptonshire

9 Top Reasons to Stand For Election - #7

9 Top Reasons to Stand For Election - #7

Are you thinking of standing to be a parish or town councillor in the elections on 7 May 2015? The deadline to submit your nomination papers is 4pm this Thursday, 9 April 2015.

In the run up to the deadline we're looking at Nine Top Reasons to Stand for Election.

Number 7 - Spend Your Time Productively

The most common reason people give for not wanting to stand as a parish or town councillor is "I haven't got time". It is true that councillorship does take time, but it needn't be all-consuming and the time it does take is at least spent productively!

Most councils meet 6 - 10 times per year and you should aim to attend every meeting if you can. they are typically held on weekday evenings. A typical meeting will take 2 - 3 hours of your time. So, for a council that meets 10 times a year you will need 20 to 30 hours or, to make it simple, 1/2 hour per week, for meetings.

To do the job well you will also need to prepare for meetings by reading meeting papers in advance and you may have actions to follow up on after meetings. This could take as much time as the meetings themselves, so that's another 1/2 hour per week on average.

So let's say that the minimum requirement to be a good councillor is 1 hour per week.

On top of that the sky's the limit. Some very active chairman, who attend every council and committee meeting and often represent the council on outside bodies say that "it's almost like a full time job!" But they are the exception, not the rule.

To really contribute towards the council, and because you are the sort of person that thinks "if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing properly" you will probably want to allocate 2 hours per week on average, with the greatest proportion of hours occurring just before and just after a meeting.

Which would you rather do: veg out in front of the latest TV reality show dross for two hours, or get up and do something positive and rewarding that makes a contribution to society?!

Please consider standing to be a parish or town councillor. You'll be very glad you did!

If you live in Northamptonshire you'll find the contact details for all parish and town councils here. Get in touch with the Clerk and they will tell you how you can stand for election.

Posted: Tue, 07 Apr 2015 07:00 by Danny Moody

Tags: Elections