On 5th May 2011, there will be elections to elect 11 Parish Councillors to serve on Lympstone Parish Council for the next four years. The Polling Station is normally in the Village Hall. Various posters and notices will be displayed on the Parish Council notice boards from the middle of March onwards, with all the details.

The main purpose of a Councillor is to represent the views of all residents within the Parish. As with any public body, there is plenty of administration but Tony, the Clerk, and Tor, his Assistant, are here to take care of that side of things. It is much more important that you know the village or are willing to learn and you are willing to talk to people about what happens here.

What does a Parish Councillor do?

As part of Lympstone Parish Council you will have responsibility for running local services including open spaces such as Candy’s Field, Avenue Field, Cliff Field and The Rag, play areas in Candy’s Field, the village toilets, the Youth Club building and, potentially, much more.

Deciding on how much money to raise through the council tax in order to pay for these things.

Influencing and shaping the long term development of the Parish, and commenting on planning applications in the Parish.

Improve the quality of life and the environment in their local area.

Work to identify issues which are important to the lives of the residents.

Work to bring about improvements through local projects by the Parish Council and others.

Training and advice for Parish Councillors is provided by the Devon Association of Local Councils, East Devon District Council and Devon County Council.

The National Association of Local Councils has a comprehensive website: www.nalc.gov.uk.

At the moment, the Parish Council meets on the first Monday of each month, except in August. The Planning Committee also meets on the middle Monday of each month to make recommendations about planning applications. All meetings are open to the public and the Parish Council is keen to allow public comment during discussions.

There are a number of committees, but these have not worked well and so it has been recommended that the Parish Council consider working in a different way. The present Council is suggesting that there are two meetings each month with business being split between the two. However, it will be for the newly elected Council to decide how it wishes to operate. The results of the election are expected by the afternoon of Saturday 7th May 2011.

The Parish Council has agreed to hold an informal get-together for all Councillors on the new Council. This will give them the chance to get to know each other before the formal business starts at the first meeting, which will be held on 16th May 2011.

Tony Le Riche – Clerk to the Council