Community & Parish News
Parish Elections May 6th 2021 - Collingtree Parish Council needs you!!
Click here to download the official election timetable and the Candidate Nomination pack. T** - Please note these will be available once released from the West Unitary Council nearer the time**
Thinking of becoming a Parish Councillor but want more information, hopefully the information below will answer your questions.
What do Parish Councils do?
Parish councils - also called town councils, neighbourhood councils or community councils in some areas – are responsible for delivering local services.
What do Parish Councillors do?
Parish councillors make decisions about policies and services, keep an eye on how well things are working and represent local residents.
How do I become a Parish Councillor?
The next parish elections are taking place on 6th May 2021. **The official election timetable and the Candidate Nomination packs will be available to download here once released from the West Unitary Council nearer the time**
On this website you can find out if you are eligible to stand for election and how you can apply.
What's in it for me and my community?
You should consider becoming a parish or town councillor if:
- You Want To Do Something Positive for Your Community
- You Want To Spend Your Time Productively
- You Can Think, Listen and Act Locally
What Parish Councils do
There are over 10, 000 parish councils (some of which are called town, community or neighbourhood councils) representing around 16 million people across England. They form the most local level of government and cover many rural and urban areas. Northamptonshire has 213 parishes with councils, plus 51 parish meetings (which do not hold elections). Together they cover almost all of the county, with the exception of unparished areas in Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby and the centre of Northampton.
Your parish council has an overall responsibility for the well-being of your local neighbourhood. Their work falls into three main categories:
- representing your local community
- delivering services to meet local needs
- striving to improve quality of life in the parish
Your parish council might provide, maintain or contribute to the following services:
- litter bins
- bus shelters
- local illuminations
- car parks
- local youth projects
- community centres
- parks and open spaces
- community safety schemes
- community transport schemes
- public lavatories
- crime reduction measures
- street cleaning
- cycle paths
- street lighting
- festivals and celebrations
- tourism activities
- leisure facilities
- traffic calming measures
They will often work with larger councils (district, borough or county) in your area called ‘principal authorities’ and cooperate to ensure the effective delivery of services to the local community.
What councillors do
Parish councillors are elected to represent a geographical area known as a ward or – mainly in smaller councils – the parish, town, community or neighbourhood council area as a whole. They are elected by people who live in the area.
If the parish council is divided into wards an election is held in each ward, the same way elections are held in district or borough wards. If the council doesn’t have wards there is just a single parish council election.
Most parish council elections are on the same cycle as the principal authorities, with elections in 2020, 2025, then 2029 and every four years thereafter.
Councillors have three main areas of work:
- Decision-making: through attending meetings and committees with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented
- Monitoring: councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working
- Getting involved locally: as local representatives, councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations. This often depends on what the councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available
The day-to-day work of a parish councillor may include:
- going to meetings of local organisations such as tenants’ associations
- going to meetings of bodies that affect the wider community, such as the police, the Highways Authority, schools and colleges
- taking up issues on behalf of members of the public, such as making representations to the principal authorities
- running a surgery for residents to bring up issues
- meeting with individual residents in their own homes
Why should I become a councillor?
As a councillor you can become a voice for your community and affect real change. Councillors are community leaders and represent the aspirations of the public that they serve. Parish, town, community and neighbourhood councillors are the most local part of our democratic system and are closest to the public. By standing for your parish council you could make a real difference to your local neighbourhood.
Can I become a parish councillor?
Most people can stand for election, however there are a few rules. You have to be:
- a British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union, and
- 18 years or older on the day you become nominated for election
You cannot stand for election if you:
- are the 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 prison sentence (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine
- work for the council you want to become a councillor for
There are specific rules around candidacy. The full range of disqualifications for candidates is quite complex and some exceptions may apply. Full details can be found on the website of the National Association of Local Councils or download this link: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-01/Part%201%20Can%20you%20stand%20for%20election%20P%20and%20C.pdf
Which parish council can I stand for?
You can become a parish councillor for any parish in which you are in the list of electors or during the whole of the preceding twelve months you
- occupied land as owner or tenant in it, or
- had a principal place of work there, or
- resided in or within three miles of it
How much time will I need to spend?
It is possible to spend a lot of time on council work - but most people have jobs, families and hobbies that also demand a lot of time. However, as with most things, the more you put in, the more you (and your community) will get out.
Generally speaking, the larger your community the larger your workload will be. The times of the meetings vary, as do the venues. Parish councils normally meet in the evening. It is important to establish the pattern of meetings and venues to make sure they can accommodate your domestic and/or business arrangements. Most councils meet once a month and many also have committees, in which case you would probably be invited to sit on a committee. These usually meet in between the meetings of the full parish council.
Quite often councillors say that their duties occupy them for about three hours a week. Obviously, there are some councillors who spend more time than this – and some less, but in the main, being a local councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work.
At Collingtree Parish Council it is anticipated you would spend a few hours over a two month period.
How do I become a councillor?
To stand for election, you can
- contact the parish council directly, or
- contact the Returning Officer at your borough or district council.
To stand for the May 2021 Elections, please download the nomination form which will be made available shortly.
Now you're ready to take the next step to becoming a councillor.
Click here to download a Candidate Nomination pack. (This will be available shortly)
A prospective candidate must deliver to the Returning Officer for the election a valid nomination paper. This form is obtained as described in the previous section. The candidate's surname, forenames, residence and description (if required) must be entered and his or her number and prefix letter from the current register of electors. The Returning Officer has a copy of this register, and the clerk of the local council normally has one. The nomination paper must also contain similar particulars of a proposer and a seconder. They must be electors for the area for which the candidate seeks election (i.e. the parish, community or town or the ward if it is divided into wards): they must sign it.
Click here to download the official election timetable - This will be made available shortly.
Ordinary elections usually coincide with the election year of the principal council and must be held on the same day. The interval between elections is normally 4 years.
Find out more
To find out more about the application process and whether you are eligible to stand for election contact your principal council elections office.
Frequently Asked Questions
What title will I have?
An elected member of a parish council is called a councillor, abbreviated to Cllr. Conventionally you will be known as, for example, “Cllr. Bob Smith” or “Cllr. Mrs Jane Smith”. You can use your title whenever you act, or wish to give the impression of acting, for the parish council
What happens if I stand but am not elected?
As in any contested democratic process there is a risk of not winning. If the number of persons nominated is less than or equal to the number of places available then the election is uncontested and you are automatically elected. If there are more candidates than places and you don’t win enough votes on Election Day then you will have lost the election. Some people may feel awkward about this, particularly as the people voting are quite often your friends, neighbours and community associates, however there is no shame in losing a contested election – it’s part and parcel of public life and there will be other opportunities to get on to the council, either at the next election or if a vacancy crops up. Don’t let the fear of losing stop you from putting yourself forward. Just think of what you could achieve if you knew you couldn’t fail!
What support is there for newly elected councillors?
Being a councillor is a respected and valued role in a community. There is lots of support available to councillors, from training and development courses run by the local County Association of Local Councils, to representation by the National Association of Local Councils, based in London. Councillors would in the first instance seek assistance from fellow colleagues and the council’s clerk (chief officer). Some councils have developed one-to-one mentoring schemes or buddy systems, which are a great way to make sure that new councillors understand their role. The support and continuous professional development of councillors is open-ended these days.
Can I get out of it if it’s not for me?
Yes. You can withdraw your nomination if you decide before the election that you don’t want to go through with it (deadline for withdrawal is 4pm on Wednesday 8 April 2020). If you are elected and decide subsequently that council life is not for you then you are free to resign at any time. However, be warned that when you start to make a real difference to community life and see the benefits that being a councillor can bring to you and your community it may just suck you in for life!
Am I personally liable for anything as a councillor?
Generally speaking, no. The council is a corporate body, which means that in law it has an identity separate to that of its members. Anything that the council decides to do by resolution is the action of the corporate body and any land, property, leases and other contracts are in the name of the council. The exception would be in extreme cases of negligence where an individual councillor has acted contrary to council policy, which may lead to personal liability.
Will my employer support me if I need time off for council business in work time?
Yes. You are allowed reasonable time off to go to meetings or to carry out your duties. The time must be agreed with your employer beforehand and your employer can refuse your request if it is unreasonable. A specific amount of time off is not laid down in law. Your employer doesn't have to pay you while you take time off for public duties, although many do. Your employment contract will normally say whether you are paid for this time off.
Does it take up a lot of time?
It can, but it doesn’t have to. You will be required to attend meetings of the full council (monthly or bi-monthly) which are normally 2 to 3 hours long. You should be well-prepared for meetings and preparation can sometimes take longer than the meeting itself! If you are really getting your teeth in to council business you may put yourself forward for any committees that the council has (e.g. finance or planning committees), which will involve further meetings and preparation. Quite often councillors say that their duties occupy them for about three hours a week.
Collingtree Parish Council meetings are held every 6th Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm for approx. 2hours.
Announcement from the Ability Bus Service - Recommencement of the bus service
Hope you have been able to keep safe during these strange times?
We would like to give you prior notice that we are restarting the ABILITY Community Bus from 7th July 2020 and will adapt the service according to demand, we also hire out to groups should a group wish to go anywhere.
Clearly many people will be concerned about the risks of travelling and we have conducted a risk review to ensure passenger safety. The review has reduced the vehicle capacity so dependent on demand we are prepared to operate more services on each day to maintain social distance between passengers. As you will recall all passengers pre-book so we are able to track and trace each passenger on each journey. We have created a ten step plan for our passengers to understand the changes we must introduce. We will be writing to all passengers by the end of the week to let them know what is happening. During the lockdown we have kept in touch and had some wonderful messages of support with people looking forward to getting out again
As it is mandatory that all passengers wear a face covering we wondered if anyone locally could produce some face coverings for us to give to the passengers. We have bought some disposable masks for the drivers and have some available if passengers have not got one. We have had a screen fitted to protect the driver in the minibus and have reduced the number of passengers on each journey amongst other measures to protect everyone as much as possible.
Please find attached a newsletter which has been distributed to all customers who are registered with us, but if you would like to use some of the editorial for your own Newsletter it will inform people who are not registered, as we would really appreciate your help in reaching people in your area and would be happy to attend any local events/coffee mornings, W.I. etc.
Please do take a note our new telephone number 01327 604123 and if you have any questions please do let us know.
ABILITY (Northants) cic
Please click below to download the latest ability news documents
** Please note the Play Area still remains Closed"
Please be aware, The Parish Council has not made an announcement that the Play Area was re-opened after all the new play equipment was installed due to the Covid 19 outbreak.
This status is to officially announce the play area is currently a no go area and is closed to all.
The decision to close the play area temporarily is based on the latest guidance from the Government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and to protect the health and well being of all our parishioners and their children.
The play area remains closed until further notice.
Thank you for your co-operation at this time.
Click here for the link to the House of Commons proposed Coronavirus bill for the self employed.
Click here for the link on Current advice given by the Prime Minister and the NHS guidelines.
Covid19 Community Volunteers
Everyone in Collingtree Parish and Collingtree Park should now have received a leaflet from a Community Volunteer
offering help to those that are isolated or elderly needing assistance during the Coronavirus isolation.
ALL ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL MAY 2021 - Due to Coronavirus measures.
** Play Area Refurbishment Announcement **
The Parish Council are pleased to announce that the Play Area is being refurbished and new play equipment is being installed next week.
We are excited to announce the new play equipment will also include a zip wire.
As of Monday 9th March 2020 for a week or two the Play Area is a no go area to everyone whilst works take place.
We will announce nearer the time when the play area is being reopened. We hope you will all bring your children down to the play area and continue to use it often.
The Parish Council would like to thank Mick George (Community Grant Fund) and Councillor Jonathan Nunn from NBC who have both provided substantial grants to the project and also to residents that have supported fund raising events held at the Wooden Walls Pub for this refurbishment project.
Also special thanks to Parish Councillor Penny Steel for all her hard work managing this project.
Update on the Community Bus Service
Fantastic News for Collingtree residents, after months of no public transport in the Northants village of Collingtree near Northampton, a local social enterprise has come up with a solution to help the residents and employees who do not have not had a bus service.
ABILITY Community Transport have over a period of months been working with the members of the Collingtree Parish Council and residents to bring back a bus service to the village. The new service will commence on mid June. Call 07799 522097 for more details.
The solution is to commence a once a week service every Tuesday to allow people to get to Northampton for shopping, health or leisure purposes. It will pick up passengers from agreed pickup points close to Watering Lane, High St, Ash Lane and Spinney Drive and will allow a couple of hours in Town (dropping off at TESCO, ALDI, Market Square) before returning to Collingtree.
Depart 10:30 arrive Town Centre 11:00 Return 13:15 departure arriving back by 13:45
This type of service has been extremely successful in other parts of the county and following funding from South Northants Council, a pilot scheme commenced in January for the Hackleton parish which covers Horton, Hackleton and Piddington.
Police Speed Monitoring on Ash Lane Results
Speed Monitoring on Ash Lane took place between 15 May 2019 and 22 May 2019.
In that time:
12586 vehicles were surveyed.
1034 (8%) exceeded 30mph
246 (2%) exceeded the National Police Chiefs Council Threshold of 35mph.
The average vehicle speed was 25mph.
For Consideration of enforcement activity the Police measure the average for 85% of vehicles, this was 29mph.
The Parish Council working alongside Ability Transport to offer Collingtree Residents a Community Bus Service
A proposed New Bus Service for Collingtree is Fantastic News for Collingtree residents, after months of no public transport in the village of Collingtree near Northampton, a local social enterprise has come up with a solution to help the residents. ABILITY Community Transport have over a period of months been working with the members of the Collingtree Parish Council and residents to bring back a bus service to the village.
Please find a links attached to a
Please note the registration form must be completed before someone will be able to travel. You can also register online or over the phone.
Ability transport hope to attend local events to help promote the scheme and hand out flyers.
Please note: Ability Transport are also looking for volunteer drivers to join them.
May 18th 2019
Two New Britannia Bus Services to commence in July 2019
Please find attached a link regarding two new bus services Britannia Bus will be commencing in July 2019. The numbers 86 and 90 Deanshanger. Both services will run one day a week and will go via Collingtree.
Community Defibrillator Training Session
March 27th 2019 at 6.30pm at the Village Hall.
The Parish Council have organised for the South Northants Community Responders Team to provide an hours training on the Parish Defibrillator before our next Parish Council Meeting. The training will take place on Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 6.30pm.
All are welcome.
Recreation Ground Play Area
Collingtree Parish Council are considering upgrading and improving the play area at the recreation ground and would like to consult with the local community to gain a wider perspective on a number of points.
We have listed below a number of questions, together with room for further comment, and would be grateful if you could spend a few minutes completing this questionaire. We would be grateful if responses could be returned by 25th March and placed in the Parish Council post box held in the phone box on the High Street, alternatively responses can be emailed to the Parish Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. The questionaire can also be downloaded here.
Local School Girl Poppy Wright raises funds to help towards the costs to purchase a Community Defibrillator
Poppy Wright a local school child and Collingtree resident attended the meeting to present a cheque for £430 to the Parish Council. The Parish Council Chairman Mark Underwood received the cheque on the PC’s behalf.
Poppy was recently unwell which resulted in visit from the paramedics. During their visit Poppy had a discussion with the paramedics about the benefits of community defibrillators and how they saved lives. This discussion sparked an interest in Poppy to fund raise to raise monies towards the costs of a Parish Defribrillator.
Poppys fund raising consisted of the making and selling of home made slime, baking cakes to be sold as refreshments at school events and organising a mufti day at school. Huge thanks are given to Collingtree Primary School for their support in allowing Poppy to fund raise at the school. A village defibrillator was recently purchased by Collingtree Parish Council and is fixed to the side wall of the Village Hall. Thanks are also given to the PCC for allowing the installation of the defribillator on their wall.
Special thanks are also given to Poppy for her hard work and fund raising efforts. Well Done Poppy!
Just Collingtree Website
For more local information on Collingtree Village whether it be past, present or future news, please also check out the Just Collingtree website at http://www.justcollingtree.co.uk lots of interesting facts and local news can be found on this website.
Design Plan for a proposed Collingtree Traffic Calming Scheme
Residents in Ash Lane will be receiving a letter from the Parish Council in August detailing a design plan received from Northampton Highways for a proposed traffic calming scheme. Please email the Parish Clerk at email@example.com with any comments you may have.