Your chance to help your family, friends and neighbours in Curry Rivel.
In May 2019 the Parish Council must be elected for the next four years. Curry Rivel elects nine Councillors and all nine slots are up for election in May. The existing eight Councillors can stand for election and it is for each of them to decide whether to or not.
You may think that the Parish Council has no power, is irrelevant to you and is only staffed by retirees
You would be wrong on all counts. As budgets for District and County Councils are reduced they are concentrating on those things that take most resource and leaving the more day to day operations to Parishes. Most resources go to Adult Social Care and Children's Services, in consequence some Councils, Swindon is a good example, have created new Parish Councils (3 in Swindon's case) to enable the PCs to take over some operations funded by the precept they can legitimately raise. This approach raises taxes that the Larger Council cannot raise (because of Government capping).
So what are examples of recent works by CR parish council? The most visible is the regeneration that went with entering the Britain in Bloom system. The area around the war memorial had been unloved for decade after decade but has now been regenerated and has won a slew of awards in 2017 and 18. Would you like to help with future entries by working on other parts of the village? The PC has also enhanced the Westfield recreation area and continues to develop this area. Would you like to help by running events for children on the site ? The PC is fighting hard to stop CR becoming a dormitory village and has asked for the next tranche of building to include live/work units to encourage start up business in the village. The best way to be able to control development and to try and encourage more employment in CR is a Neighbourhood plan. However this requires a large commitment from Councillors and a final say by the whole village.Would you like to help with this task? The Parish Council purchased grit bins in 2011 to help grit/salt the roads in winter but do not have enough volunteers to spread the material in cold weather. Do you live near a bin and can you help out in cold weather? One can find many more examples of the work of the PC.
So it should be obvious there are a number of areas that a new Councillor can contribute to and enhance the life of their family and friends.
What does one need to be a Councillor?, you must have lived within the Parish for at least a year and be willing to attend one meeting a month (1st Thursday each month). There is no selection process before the election only a need to fill in a nomination form. Training for new Councillors will be given by SSDC and there are lots of opportunities to attend other courses about the work that PCs do. These are not compulsory but it would be hoped that enthusiastic councillors would want to attend. There is no pay associated with the position but there is an opportunity every year to help decide the local parish tax and how it is spent. Finally one very important aspect is the evaluation of planning permissions within the Parish. Although the final decision whether or not to grant planning permission rests with the District Council or, following an appeal, the Government inspectorate, the Parish Council opinion does carry weight and we like to listen to the public's opinion at our meetings
Nomination forms will be available from the end of this month from www.southsomerset.gov.uk and they must be returned to SSDC between 18th March and 3rd April. Please come to the monthly Council meetings to meet the existing Councillors and to make appointments to discuss the Council workings in more detail. In the words of President John F Kennedy of the USA "Think not of what the community can do for you but what you can do for the community" He said Country not Community but the sentiment is the same.