The Role of a Parish Councillor

A Parish Councillor is not an employee or volunteer but an elected (or co-opted) representative who gives their time for free to work on behalf of the community.

Parish Councillors have various responsibilities and duties:-

  • To represent the views and concerns of all the residents of the Parish to the Parish Council itself and, through it, to the district, county or unitary authority.
  • To should participate constructively in the government of the Parish.
  • To report back to residents on issues affecting the Parish and to keep up to date with significant developments affecting the Parish at a Local or National level.
  • To ensure, with other Parish Councillors, that the Parish Council is properly managed and to participate in the formation and scrutiny of the policies, budgets and services of the Parish Council.

The formal part of the role is carried out by attending and taking part in meetings.  Councillors should prepare for meetings so that they are fully informed about issues to be discussed, form sound judgements based on what is best for the community and then abide by the majority decisions made by the Parish Council.  The Parish Council might have committees to progress a specific project or consultation.  Individual councillors 9including the Chair) do not have, and cannot be given, powers to make decisions on behalf of the Parish Council.

The less formal part of the role is listening and talking to people, including the local elected members of the district, county or unitary council.