Every four years, parish councils are required to hold an election for membership of the council.  This is the village’s opportunity to get involved and make changes, should they wish, to how the parish council is run. All 15 seats on Aldbourne Parish Council are up for election on 6 May 2021.

The council is a constantly changing body of people; once elected, parish councillors can usually sit on the council for a maximum of four years.  If they then want to stay in the post they must stand for re-election.  Parishioners are actively encouraged to apply to join the parish council, and it is always good to welcome new members.  Ideally, all age groups and a wide demographic should be represented on a council and Aldbourne has been lucky enough to have this in the past.  There are fifteen seats on the council, which means that if sixteen or more people stand, there will be a ballot for the village to vote for who they would like to represent them on their parish council. Should 15 or less stand, anyone who has submitted an application will be automatically elected onto Aldbourne Parish Council and become a councillor. If this happens, it also means that at a later stage, the council would need to co-opt additional people to bring the council back to the full compliment of fifteen councillors.

Select here to read about what being an Aldbourne councillor is like, and why they joined, from the current longest severing and shortest serving councillors.

A Parish Council is the local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish and makes representations on their behalf to other bodies (eg on planning matters).  It is the level of government closest to the community, with Wiltshire Council above it.  As it is the authority closest to the people, the parish council is invariably the first place people will go with concerns or ideas.  For this reason, it is a vital part of any community.

Who can become a Parish Councillor?

Any resident of Aldbourne who:

  • has occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of nomination and the day of election;
  • is at least 18 years old;
  • is a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any other member state of the European Union (this hasn’t changed despite Brexit).

Also, you’d need to meet at least one of the following four qualifications:

  1. you are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the parish in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards;
  2. your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the parish/community area;
  3. you have lived in the parish or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election;
  4. you have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.

What do Parish Councils do?

Parish councils make all kinds of decisions and make representations to other local and national bodies, on issues that affect the local community: from working with the groups in the village, liaising with the police and other services, creating a neighbourhood plan, arranging the mowing of the road verges, managing the public toilets, managing some recreation facilities and open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities, to commenting on planning applications and representing the parish in meetings with assorted external bodies, working with Wiltshire Council on traffic matters and engaging with other local parish councils on matters that affect us all.

There are limited powers to make decisions, but parish councils do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions.

APPLY TO STAND AS A PARISH COUNCILLORWiltshire Council elections page – Includes details of how to apply and nomination packs. Poll numbers can be obtained from the parish clerk, or the Wiltshire Council elections team.

Wiltshire Council webinar on the election process, including details on how to complete the nomination paper.

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • 4pm Thursday 8 April 2021 – Deadline for delivery of nomination papers to stand as a parish councillor. [Forms have to be delivered directly to Wiltshire Council, not the parish council. Details on this and booking appointments can be found in the Wiltshire Council election page link above.]
  • 4pm Thursday 8 April 2021 – Deadline for withdrawals
  • Friday 9 April 2021 – Publication of persons nominated to stand for election
  • 7am to 10pm Thursday 6 May 2021 – Polling day for parish council elections (subject to 16 or more candidates standing)
  • 10 May 2021 – New Aldbourne Parish Council comes into force. An annual meeting has to be held by no later than 24 May 2021.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT BEING A COUNCLLOR