New Parish Council?

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On May 7th residents of Tarvin Parish will be going to the polls to choose their Member of Parliament and their two Cheshire West and Chester Councillors. What they won't be doing is voting for their Parish Councillors.

Why?

Tarvin Parish in its new and extended form has an allocation of 11 Parish Councillors. By the close of nominations on 9th April only 8 names had been received. This means that those 8 people are deemed to have been elected and will form the core of the new Council. These people are (in surname alphabetical order):
David Cotgreave: Sue Hardacre: Clare Jones: Ted Lush: Matthew Pochin: Brian Spruce: Pet Twigg: Ray Williams. Former Councillors Roger Hones, Phil Miles, and Andy Shaw-Pollard decided not to stand again. Their hard work, experience, and enthusiasm will be missed.

The lack of a formal election is regrettable as you, the electorate, has not had a choice — a chance to hear what prospective councillors have to say, or to question them on their record. However, the cost of voting on May 7th would have been carried on the Parish Council's budget, so there is now a sum available to be spent for the general benefit of the parish.

The new Parish Council will meet formally for the first time on Monday 18th May when the new Councillors will sign the forms that confirm their appointment. Once this has happened they will be able to act as Councillors and also start the proceedings to enable them to co-opt 3 more people to the Council. As with all things to do with the democratic process, there are rules to follow. There is even a little known and rarely used process whereby 10 or more residents can request an election for those places. But what usually happens is that interested people contact the Parish Clerk or have informal talks with existing Councillors and express an interest.

Could you be a Parish Councillor?

You need to be aged over 18, a British, Commonwealth Citizen or European Union Citizen (who is a registered elector), resident for 12 months prior to the day of election — either in the parish or within 3 miles of the boundary, have occupied land or premises for 12 months as owner or tenant — either in the parish or within 3 miles of the boundary, or had a principal place of work — either in the parish or within 3 miles of the boundary. New residents are particularly welcome as they see thing in a different light to those who have lived in an area for years. You need to be able to commit to a meeting once a month (normally the fourth Monday evening) but the amount of extra 'work' an individual Councillor does can vary. One thing that you are unlikely to have to do is to get involved with personal problems that individuals may have. A knowledge of social, housing or benefit rules is not needed at all.

To find out more go to www.cpalc.org.uk/becoming-a-parish-councillor or ring Mike Hassall on 01829 741075. Mike will happily provide you with a booklet to read as well as answer any questions that you might have.

The next four years are likely to be quite lively in Tarvin Parish with the pressures for more residential development continuing. Tarvin will continue to change and adapt to social, economic and political circumstances and being on the Parish Council would mean that you, as a voice for your community, would be able to shape that change.