2017 Elections Brochure
4th May 2017
Become a Town Councillor......
...why not you?
Marlborough Town Council
What is a Town Council?
So, democracy on your doorstep.
What is its role?
It represents the local community and delivers some important visible, everyday services to meet local needs.
In Marlborough, it provides play areas, parks, public toilets, CCTV, maintains open spaces, recreational areas and cemeteries as well as looking after the Town Hall and a property portfolio. It organises community events such as the Christmas Lights Switch-on and the Remembrance Parade. It awards grants to and works with local groups to improve the quality of local life. It also works alongside Wiltshire Council and other external agencies to influence planning, highways, transport, environmental and other issues.
There is a small team of 13 staff headed up by the Town Clerk who deal with the day to day running of the Council's administration, services, grounds and property portfolios as well as providing support and advice to Councillors and implementing their decisions.
How much does the Council cost?
By law, the Town Council is entitled to levy a tax from their area. Each year it calculates the money it needs to provide services and any projects planned for the year ahead. Then it deducts what it expects to receive from income and external grants leaving a net amount. This sum, called the precept, is the amount collected by Wiltshire Council as a proportion of the total Council Tax paid by Marlborough households. It equates to around 10% of the overall Council Tax bill.
Town Councillors are volunteers and are not paid with the exception of the Town Mayor who can claim an allowance for Mayoral expenses.
How is the Council accountable?
Town and Parish Councils are governed by legislation and follow Standing Orders and Financial Regulations. It follows the Local Government Transparency Code. Scheduled Town Council meetings are open to the public and can be recorded and filmed.
What are the challenges ahead?
Wiltshire Council (our Unitary Authority) is receiving less from central government and quite rightly seeks to maintain high levels of service for the care of our most vulnerable. This means that there is a knock-on effect on Marlborough Town Council as some local services are reduced. So, decisions will have to be made about whether to take on buildings and other assets, enhance grass cutting and litter picking services and more.
The Town Council also works closely with the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group which is looking at the future of the town in terms of land use. (Affordable housing and parking problems feature as the areas of most concern to residents.) Work on the production of a Neighbourhood Plan is underway and will be produced in the next year or so.
This all sits next to the day to day work undertaken by the Town Council dealing with the services it already offers to residents. In short, it will be striving to seek best value and getting the most for its community.
Who can become a Town Councillor?
If you meet the following requirements you can stand as a candidate.
You should be:
- British, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the parish or have lived in or lived within 3 miles of the parish or working in or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election
You cannot be a Councillor if you are:
- Employed by the Council
- Subject to a bankruptcy restriction order
- Have been sentenced to prison for 5 years
- Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court
More information and a Nomination Pack is available at: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/elections
Guidance is also available on the Electoral Commission website at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk
Click here to read a guide to local elections
Time to make those changes…
Whatever you feel needs changing in Marlborough (or Manton), you could be just the person to drive things forward by becoming a Town Councillor. The elected term is 4 years and there are 16 seats available – 8 in each of the East and West Wards.
Being a good and effective Councillor requires commitment and hard work but, it’s both a rewarding and privileged form of public service. You’ll be in a position to make a difference to the quality of local people’s daily lives.
Come along to a council meeting or make an appointment with Shelley Parker, the Town Clerk, to find out more about Marlborough Town Council. Contact her at:
Marlborough Town Council, Council Offices, 5, High Street, Marlborough SN8 1AA
Telephone: 01672 512487
Nomination Pack: Guide to Elections: