COULD YOU BE AN ALVECHURCH PARISH COUNCILLOR?
Alvechurch Parish Council currently has two vacancies: one in the Hopwood ward and one in the Alvechurch Village ward which has arisen because insufficient candidates have applied to be Parish Councillors at the elections due to be held on 2nd May 2019 …
WOULD YOU CONSIDER JOINING THE TEAM?
Anyone who’s never been to a parish council meeting before probably thinks it’s just a group of (mainly older) people talking for hours in a draughty village hall. But if you live in a community where something ‘big’ is happening e.g. a contentious planning application or the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan, you’ll know that when residents need support and guidance, it’s that same group of people in the village hall, they turn to.
By becoming a parish councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support….someone who can work with others to influence decisions for the benefit of local people. Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you’ve helped make, is something that can give you a sense of achievement and pride. In recent years, Alvechurch Parish Councillors have helped to improve the play equipment at our playing fields, provided financial assistance to local organisations like The Lounge and produced the Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan to name just a few things!
How much time is Involved?
Alvechurch Parish Council meets once a month and members of the public are welcome. Meetings may last two or three hours, depending on the agenda. We also have Committees like Planning, Finance and Youth, Sport and Recreation plus occasional ‘ad hoc’ meetings. If you look at our meetings page www.alvechurch.gov.uk/meetings you will see the monthly meeting schedule and in an average month the Council and its Committees will meet twice a month so it’s not going to take over your life!
Length of Service
Once elected or co-opted, parish councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years. If they then want to stay on, they can stand for re-election. But this doesn’t mean you have to stay for four years; if you find it’s not for you, or you can no longer find the time, you can stand down.
Am I Eligible to be a Parish Councillor?
The vast majority of local people would qualify if they live or work in the Parish and are over 18, but your eligibility can be quickly and easily checked if needed.
What skills would I need?
Councillors aren’t expected to have any special skills. Short training courses are available….but some find it easier to learn on the job. A willingness to work with colleagues to solve problems is all you need. New councillors are asked to sign a Code of Conduct and follow some standard procedures that apply to all Councils.
Don’t Take our Word for It
The best way to find out about being a parish councillor is to talk to someone who’s doing it now. Come along to a meeting, speak to one of the councillors and find out what they think of the job.
Sited within the Worcestershire district of Bromsgrove, Alvechurch is one of Bromsgrove’s 20 parishes and shares boundaries with Beoley, Wythall, Barnt Green, Cofton Hackett and Tutnall & Cobley Parishes. The parish also borders both the city of Birmingham and Redditch new-town and is therefore a vital part of the West Midlands Green Belt that serves as a buffer between conurbations.
The only part of the parish that is not covered by the Green Belt classification is the built-up area of Alvechurch village itself. The resultant restrictions on new building development in the Green Belt mean demand for new housing in the parish is high.
Alvechurch Village Centre is a designated Conservation Area, host to a number of listed buildings originating from the 15th century. The parish church of St Laurence is listed grade II
The parish is host to good transport links of all types including (by road) the north/south A441 and the east/west M42, (by rail) the Redditch/Lichfield cross-city service, and (by canal) the Worcester Birmingham canal. The river Arrow flows from its source in the nearby Lickey Hills through the parish and out towards Alcester. The village of Alvechurch lies in a valley surrounded by Hob, Scarfield, Coopers, Hopwood, Wast, Weatheroak and Newbourne Hills.
Parish Councils are the most local tier of Local Government, the grass-roots level. In this area Local Government consists of parish councils, district councils and county councils – all of which have been set up by Acts of Parliament. In Alvechurch the parish council has been in existence since 1894, since when there have been a few changes to its size and number of councillors to today’s parish which covers the wards of Alvechurch.
The Parish Council is funded by the council tax payer. Councillors work out how much money they will need for the forthcoming year and set a special rate called the precept which is collected by the District Council with the council tax.
Parish Council Services
Your Parish Council servicesThe Parish Council Office opens four days a week from 10.00 to 12.00 for information and advice. Among the services we provide are:
- Looking after the car park at the Social Club (daytime)
- Managing the playing fields and children’s play equipment at The Meadows, Hopwood and Rowney Green
- Footpath lighting and minor highways work
- Keeping the Alvechurch village centre clean
- Upkeep of community buildings at Rowney Green and Hopwood
- Grants to community organisations especially The Lounge.
- Grit and dog bin supply and servicing
- Advice and opinion on building/housing
- Making representations to the District and County for the benefit of the parish, for example on planning issues
- Leading Neighbourhood Planning for the parish
The Parish Council is committed to providing value for money and friendly, responsive services to all Parishioners.