Elections in May... Could you be a Councillor?

Well its hard to believe that its election time again this year. Thank you to all the present Council who have worked hard and have a lot to show for their efforts over the last 4 years.

Sadly Cllrs Greedy and Worrall have decided not to stand for re- election, and Cllr Martin is no longer eligible since he moved out of the village a year ago. At the time of writing this we are not sure what Cllr Lyon will decide as he is in poor health at the moment.

So potentially we will have three or four vacancies for new councillors that MUST be filled. Anybody over 18 can stand for election as long as they live in the Parish or within 3 miles of the boundary (as the crow flies). The role is voluntary, and the minimum involved is to attend a meeting once a month on the third Tuesday at 7pm. Obviously you can get a lot more involved than this if you want to, and we would especially like to hear from people who have a desire to improve the Parish and some good ideas. You must also be able to work impartially and to make decisions based on what you think the MAJORITY of residents would like rather than your own personal views.

Free training is available and encouraged to help you get the most from the role, although this is optional. You dont need any qualifications as such, just a balanced view of what is achievable and the ability to work with others to achieve it. You may also receive E Mails or phone calls from parishioners if they have a particular problem, but it isnt up to you to sort this personally, everything has to be referred to the full council at the monthy meetings for a decision to be made and the Clerk will take it forward from then on.

The Parish Council currently has a "Quality Award" for the way it is run. Part of the requirements for this is for at least 4 of the Councillors to be properly  elected in May. When I say "Properly" I mean that if there are not enough people willing to stand then the Councillors who DO get elected will then have to "Co-opt" the remaining ones required. If this happens then these co opted councillors have full rights, but are not considered to have been "elected". Therefore our Quality Status could be at risk. Co option is just a name for the procedure of proactively approaching someone and asking them to be a councillor, and if they then agree they are appointed without any election taking place.

Also, we currently have a "Power of General Competance " in Ansley which means that we have a lot more flexibility in how we spend money. If we do not get two thirds of the council properly elected we will lose this power.

I hope you can see that we have worked hard in the past to get the above benefits, and it would be so sad to lose them. Please consider standing as a councillor to help us continue with the good work. It doesn't matter how many people apply, everyone will go into the pot in May along with the current councillors who are standing for re election. The six people with the most votes will then be elected. 

We are especially keen to get people from Ansley Common and Birchley Heath as these two areas are under represented at the moment.  

If you are willing to apply, please contact the clerk on ansleyparishclerk@gmail.com or phone 02476 394670. I can then get you a pack from the Borough Council. There will also be posters on the noticeboards and an article in Ansley Community News in the Spring issue.

A short course is being arranged for any potential councillors on February 28th in Atherstone. This is a free session and just explains to any potential councillors what is involved, but really you can make as much or as little of the role as you want to.

Thank you very much!


Jane Sands

Clerk to Ansley Parish Council