Two seats on Wigginton and Hopwas Parish Council are currently vacant.
The Parish Council is the smallest of the three councils covering the villages of Wigginton, Hopwas and Comberford and provides services specifically for the Parish – including recreation grounds & play areas, the war memorial, some grass cutting and hedge / tree maintenance as well as some street furniture and street lighting.
The Parish Council liaise with other authorities including Lichfield District Council, Staffordshire County Council, and the Police to represent our community.
Kate Clover PSLCC, the council’s Clerk, said: “This is a particularly exciting time to join the Parish Council as the Parish continues to grow due to new development and the Council will receive some significant funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy in due course. This is a real opportunity for people to get involved at the level of government closest to the people and make an impact within their own village. Lichfield District Council are conducting a Community Governance review this year and it is important that residents recognise the work of Wigginton and Hopwas Parish Council and resist local decisions being taken away from the Parish.”
She added: “Over the last two years the council has worked extremely hard to achieve good governance and has adopted many new policies including the development of a Parish Council Action Plan and has supported additional training for Councillors and ensured they have a qualified Clerk.”
“Unfortunately due to personal circumstances, some of our existing Councillors are struggling to attend meetings and we desperately need to fill the remaining two vacancies to share these responsibilities going forward. It is only right that we should encourage new people to think about standing for co-option – so, if you have an interest in what is happening in your village, this is a great time to consider putting yourself forward as a Parish Councillor.”
Anyone co-opted as a councillor will represent their local residents and work with other Councillors and the Clerk to help deliver the Parish Council’s range of public services, determine how the Parish Council’s portion of the Council Tax is spent and help support and promote the villages of Wigginton, Hopwas and Comberford.
“As part of electoral rules you need to be able to prove that you have a direct connection with Wigginton and Hopwas, so you will need to either be on the electoral register within the parish, or you need to have had your main residence or workplace in the Parish, or within 3 miles of it, during the whole of the last year, ” said Ms Clover.
“There is no need to be linked to any political party, so you can stand in your own right as an individual and, traditionally, younger people are significantly under-represented on local councils so we would very much encourage anyone over the age of 18 to consider standing.”
To discuss the possibility of joining the Council in more detail, please contact the Parish Clerk, Kate Clover: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07540 991 343.
Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I need to be?
The minimum age for a Parish Councillor is 18 years. Younger people are very much under-represented on councils across the country, so the Parish Council are keen to encourage people of all ages to consider joining the Council.
Do I need any qualifications?
No. All you need is an interest in what is going on in your local area. A willingness to learn, common sense and a reasonable knowledge of the area would prove useful. Upon joining the Council there will be opportunities for further training via the Clerk and Staffordshire Parish Council Association.
I work full time; can I still stand?
Yes. Many councillors successfully undertake their duties alongside a full-time job. Most meetings are in the evening. Wigginton and Hopwas Parish Council usually meet on the first Thursday of every other month at 7:15pm.
Do I have to be linked to a political party?
No. You can join the Council in your own right as an individual and there is no need to have any political views or affiliation whatsoever. If, however, you would like to represent a particular party you cannot do so without their permission. You should contact the relevant party directly for more information on how you might represent them.
Will I get paid?
No. The role of a Parish Councillor is unpaid, you will however be reimbursed for legitimate expenses incurred in your role (such as travel expenses to attend a training course) subject to the Council’s approval. The costs for approved training will be met by the Parish Council.
How much time would it take up?
Being a councillor will take up some of your spare time. You will need to find time to speak with the people you represent when they have an issue they wish to discuss, and you will need to attend some meetings of the council and find time to read the associated paperwork – but you can choose for yourself how much time you spend overall.
Would I need to attend any meetings?
Yes. Councillors are required by law to attend meetings unless they have a valid reason for not being there (illness, work commitments, holidays etc). The Parish Council meet every other month in January, March, May, July, September, and November however occasionally an extraordinary meeting may be required to deal with an urgent matter. The Parish Council are also the sole trustees for Wigginton Village Hall Trust and Comberford Millennium Green and so there are some additional Trustee meetings in the year, these are currently held via Zoom and are usually brief.
Does it cost anything to stand for co-option?
What are my chances of being co-opted?
It will depend on the number of people who come forward, there are a total of seven seats on the council of which we have two vacancies remaining. In the event there are more than two members of the Community who wish to be co-opted the Council will vote for their preferred candidates. If you are not successful on this occasion, please be aware that there will be elections in May 2023 when all seven positions will be available.
I’m still not sure, is there anyone I can talk to?
Yes. You are very welcome to speak to the Clerk for more information on the work of the council and the role of a councillor. Alternatively you could talk to an existing councillor, whose contact details are available on our website www.wiggintonandhopwas.co.uk or via the Clerk.