About Hazlemere Parish Council
Hazlemere Parish Council is a Local Authority that make decisions on behalf of the Hazlemere Electorate. It is the level of Government closest to the community, with Buckinghamshire Council (the Unitary Authority) above it in the hierarchy. As Hazlemere Parish Council is closest to the people, we are invariably the first place people will go with concerns or ideas. For this reason it is a vital part of any Community.
Its work falls into three main categories:
- representing the Local Community
- delivering services to meet local needs
- striving to improve quality of life in the Parish
The Aims and Objectives of the Parish Council echo these themes and the following have been identified as the key priorities for the Parish Council :
- To provide effective and accountable Local Government for the Parish, achieving best value for our Community
- To be a strong voice for residents and local businesses ensuring that development of our built and natural environment is driven by the needs and ambitions of the community it represents
- To be a cleaner, greener (net zero), more attractive Parish that is a safe and healthy place to learn, live and work
What decisions do Parish Councils make?
Parish Councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the Local Community, under Local Government Laws. Probably the most common topics that Parish Councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), creating Neighbourhood Plans, crime prevention, helping local groups, managing assets and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.
It’s true to say that on their own, Parish Councils have limited powers to make decisions. But they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as the Unitary Council, health authorities, police etc).
In this respect Parish Councils are extremely powerful. The organisations that make the final decisions know that a Parish Council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something, and its views will be taken seriously.
The Parish Council will normally meet up at least once a month to discuss community matters and members of the community are welcome to attend. If you wish to attend these meetings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space. Agenda papers can be viewed here.
If you are interested in joining the Parish Council as an elected member the next elections will be held in May 2024 and further details of the process will be shared across our website, socials and community noticeboards so please watch this space. Alternatively, if you wish to express an interest in becoming a Councillor please email The Clerk.
What powers do Parish Council have?
The Parish Council has a wide range of powers related to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open spaces, allotments, play areas, street lighting, bus shelters, car parks and much more. The Council also has the power to raise money through taxation, the precept. The precept is the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority, Buckinghamshire Council, which collects the tax for the Parish Council.
Hazlemere Parish Council has 12 Councillors who stand for election every four years. The duties and functions of a Parish Council are many and varied. All meetings are open to the public and there is a forum before the start of the meeting at which members of the public can raise concerns and ask questions. There is also an Annual Meeting which all Parishioners are invited to attend. All meetings are advertised on the council notice boards and on this website. Residents can bring to the attention of the Parish Council anything that concerns them, either directly or though the Clerk. If matters raised are not the responsibility of the Council, the Clerk can bring them to the attention of the proper authority.
How much time does it take up?
Councils usually meet once a month for the Council Meeting, to which members of the public are also invited. Meetings may last two or three hours, depending on the agenda set for the meeting to discuss. There are Committees to deal with specific subjects, such as Planning, Parish Finance, Open Spaces and Environmental Issues. In addition to the regular meetings, Councillors are required to attend other meetings representing the Council, for example acting as a representative on an outside body, community activities or helping develop a new project for the community. Such meetings won’t happen every day, so it’s not going to take over your life.
How long does a Parish Councillor serve for?
Once elected, Parish Councillors sit on the Council for a term of four years. If they then want to remain in post they need to stand for re-election.
Applicants should note that Councillors are expected to attend regular meetings and any additional meetings as may be arranged, and to represent the electors of Hazlemere in raising and discussing those issues of interest and concern on which the Parish Council is empowered to act.
Am I eligible to be a Parish Councillor?
You have to be:
- a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union
- over 18 years of age
and additionally you have to be one of the following
- a local government elector for the council area for which you want to stand
- have during the whole of the 12 months occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the council area or within 3 miles of it for the whole period
- have during that same period had your principal or only place of work in the council area or within 3 miles of it for the whole period.
You cannot stand for election if you
- are subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order.
- have, within five years before the day of the election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine.
- you work for the council you want to become a councillor for (but you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area).
You don’t have to be connected to a political party.
If you do become a parish councillor you will have to sign up to the Code of Conduct.
Don't take our word for it!
The best way to find out what it’s like to be a parish councillor is to talk to someone who’s doing it now.
Come along to a parish council meeting, or speak to one of our councillors and find out what they think of the job.