WALTON PARISH COUNCIL
NOTICE OF VACANCY
IN THE OFFICE OF
Due to the death of Robert William George Musgrave, a vacancy has arisen for a Councillor for Walton Parish Council.
If, within 14 days* after the date of this notice, a request for an election to fill the said vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer, Mendip District Council, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT by TEN electors for the Parish, an election will be held to fill the said vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by the Parish Council by co-option.
Helen Moore 15th March 2023
Clerk to Walton Parish Council
* In computing any period of time for this purpose, a Saturday, Sunday, day of the Christmas break, of the Easter break or of a bank holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning must be disregarded.
Below are the current members of Walton Parish Council all were elected uncontested at the May 2022 elections. Some of these councillors have been on the parish council for a number of years,
Parish Council elections happen every four years, with Walton having spaces for 9 Councillors.
If councillors stand down [due to moving away or health reasons etc.] then the Parish Council can co-opt people to fill the spaces and make up the numbers to 9.
The parish council meets every month, usually but not always on the second Friday of the month at 7 pm in the village hall at Meadow Lane BA16 9LA
Parish surgeries can also be held at the village hall as required if you want to talk to one of your local councillors or raise any issues of concern or interest ~ you can make an individual appointment via the Parish Clerk.
Details of the Clerks role may also be found below.
The Parish Clerk is Helen Moore who may be contacted on: 07399040667 [this number does not record messages]
or written to: Parish Council Clerk, Walton Village Hall, Meadow Lane Walton BA16 9LA
or contacted directly from the website contact page.
**PLEASE NOTE THE CLERK IS PART-TIME AND WORKS WEEKDAY MORNINGS ONLY ALL ENQUIRIES WILL RECEIVE A REPLY BUT IT MAY NOT BE INSTANTANEOUS !!**
Why become a Parish Councillor?
By becoming a parish councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support, a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve.
Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you have helped make, is something that can give you a sense of achievement and pride.
What decisions do Parish Councils make?
Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, speeding, helping local groups, managing open spaces 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 borough or 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.
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 generally last two hours, depending on the agenda set for the meeting to discuss. Councillors may also become involved with community activities or helping develop a new project for the community. However, 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 maximum of four years. If they then want to stay in the post they can stand for re-election.
Applicants should note that Councillors are expected to attend regular meetings and to represent the electors of Walton 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.
What powers do parish councils have?
They have a wide range of powers which essentially related to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open space, allotments, play areas, 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, the district council, which collects the tax for the parish council.
Walton Parish Council has 9 Councillors who stand for election every four years. The duties and functions of a parish council are many and varied.
The Council meets monthly and considers planning applications and any other matters referred to it by local residents. Mendip District Council and by central government. All meetings are open to the public and members of the public can raise concerns and ask questions. 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.
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.
John Harvey has been elected as the Chairman of the parish council.
He is a member of both the finance and staffing sub-groups and council representative to the Bus Back Better group
Bob was elected in May 2022 and has been elected as Vice-Chairman
Bob is very involved with the practical day-to-day issues of Walton and is a parish council representative to the Walton Trust, he is also part of the working group for East Mead Field and a member of both the staffing and finance groups.
Bob has been a member of the council since January 2020
Elected at the May 2022 uncontested election, Cllr. Crossman is the parish council representative to the Walton Trust. He is also a member of the staffing group and finance group.
Richard has been a member of the Council since 2003
Lian was co-opted onto the parish council in January 2023
Elected at the May 2022 uncontested election,
Simon Loader is a council representative on the Walton Allotment Society Committee and has responsibility for the parish footpaths. He is also a member of both the Eastmead field and finance working groups.
Simon has been a member of the council since 2015
Matt was co-opted onto the council at the September 2022 parish council meeting. He is has taken on the role of responsibility for the Environment project area.
[for clarity, Matt is not a member of Cllr. Richard Vowles’s family – Vowles is an historically popular family name in Somerset!]
Cllr. Richard Vowles was elected to the council in May 2022
Richard is the council representative to the allotment society and part of the working group for the East Mead Field. He is also involved with looking after the village footpaths.
Richard has been on the council since 2020.
[for clarity, Richard is not a member of Cllr. Matt Vowles’s family – Vowles is an historically popular family name in Somerset!]
Helen has been the Clerk and RFO to the council since 2005.
THE ROLE OF THE CLERK AND RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER:
The Parish Clerk is the Proper Officer of the Council and as such is under a statutory duty to carry out all the functions, and in particular to serve or issue all the notifications required by law of a local authority’s Proper Officer. The Parish Clerk is responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its functions as a Local Authority are carried out.
The Parish Clerk is expected to advise the Council on, and assist in the formation of overall policies to be followed in respect of the Authority’s activities and in particular to produce all the information required for making effective decisions and to implement all decisions. The person appointed will be accountable to the Council for the effective management of all its resources and will report on issues as and when required.
In effect, the Parish Clerk’s role is equivalent to that of Chief Executive.
1. To ensure that statutory and other provisions governing or affecting the operation of the Council are observed.
2. Responsible Financial Officer – responsibility for monitoring and balancing
the Council’s accounts and preparation of records for audit purposes, VAT, PAYE and national insurance, pension scheme, grants.
3. To ensure that the Council’s obligations for Risk Assessment are properly met.
4. To prepare, in consultation with appropriate members, agendas for meetings of the Council, Committees and Working Groups. To attend such meetings and to either prepare or oversee the preparation of minutes/notes of those meetings for approval.
5. To attend all meetings of the Council, Committees and Working Groups,
6. To receive correspondence and documents on behalf of the Council and to deal with correspondence or documents or bring such items to the attention of the Council. To issue correspondence as a result of instructions of, or with reference to the known policy of the Council.
7. To develop the annual budget as the Responsible Financial Officer and to oversee the Council’s expenditure and income.
8. To study reports and other data on activities of the Council and on matters bearing on those activities. Where appropriate, to discuss such matters with administrators and specialists in particular fields and to produce reports for circulation and discussion by the Council, Committees or Working Groups.
9. To draw up both on her own initiative and as a result of suggestions by members, proposals for consideration by the Council and to advise on practicability and likely effects of specific courses of action.
10. To keep up to date with new legislation, ensuring the Council is fully informed of new opportunities and legal requirements of legislation.
11. To oversee the maintenance and safety of all existing sites owned or leased by the Council including Meadow lane play area and East Mead Field
12. To negotiate the purchase or lease of premises, acting on resolutions and on behalf of the Council.
13. To develop relationships with outside bodies and organisations to facilitate partnership working.
14. To monitor the implemented policies of the Council to ensure they are achieving the desired result and where appropriate, suggest modifications.
15. To respond to consultation documents from local and central government and other relevant bodies on behalf of and by resolution of Council.
16. To act as the representative of the Council as required.
17. To issue notices and prepare agendas and minutes for the annual meeting of the parish as required, and attend the annual parish meeting and implement proposals made at the meeting that are agreed by the Council.
18. To prepare in consultation with the Chairman, press releases about the activities of, or decisions of the Council.
19. To attend training courses or seminars on the work and role of the Clerk.
20. To manage and advise on new projects – current projects include the East Mead Community area and orchard.
Tel: 07957 249066
Address: Walton Village Hall Meadow Lane BA16 9LA
Recent new legislation requires that the register of interests form completed by all parish Councillors is now displayed on that parish councils website.
The full forms for any Parish Councillors and District Councillors may also be found on the Mendip District Council website http://www.mendip.gov.uk/