Wheathampstead Needs you
Do you live or work in Wheathampstead or Gustard Wood? Are you passionate about helping to keep the area a great place to live and work in? If you would like to represent your community you could be a parish councillor.
The council has 12 elected councillors that currently come from a range of backgrounds with a mixed variation of skills from lawyers to teachers, scientists to farmers and all sorts in between. Some council members are retired or semi-retired and some still work, but all find enough time to devote to helping the community in their role as a councillor. All volunteers, the council members meet officially every month and there are various other committees and groups that councillors are involved in. Overall it’s a big job as, through the work of the parish councillors along with numerous other volunteers and various contractors, the parish Council is responsible for maintaining its 170 acres of open spaces; allotments, sports pitches, play areas, nature reserves, the station platform project and the heritage trails. Also, once the library and fire station are combined, a parish council working group will be responsible for looking at refurbishing the Memorial Hall and considering the best use for the library space. The parish council also contribute to or are responsible for various village events across the year including Lights up, Picnic on the Meads and Village day and councillors can and do get involved at every level. Parish councillors are also encouraged to introduce fresh ideas and new initiatives which represent the views of local people and could be a benefit to the area.
There are opportunities for training too and various courses are available for those councillors who want to develop their own skills and these include; learning how to be a chairperson, public speaking, leadership, finding funding and more. There is lots of interaction with local people on a wide range of issues that the parish council are expected to solve or advise on, so being a councillor is responsible and often fast-paced.
By all accounts, becoming a parish councillor provides a great opportunity to actually contribute to making a difference locally and to work with a team of other people that are equally passionate and committed to the area that they live or work in.
Every four years, local elections take place to fill the twelve vacancies for parish councillors and this time the deadline for applications is 3rd April. The parish council is looking for local people who have a positive outlook, a can-do attitude and be willing to work as part of a team.
To apply you will need an application pack which is available from St Albans District Council offices, although a small number of packs will be available from the parish council offices in Wheathampstead. The application form looks a bit daunting but actually there isn’t much to it, although it’s worth noting that it must be witnessed. All applications must be received at the St Albans District Council Offices before 4pm on 3rd April. If you can take it in to the district council offices earlier, the election officer will check the form through for you to ensure it’s correct.
If there are more than twelve applications, elections will take place on 2nd May. All residents will receive ballot papers and will be invited to vote for their preferred candidate.
If you decide to apply don’t leave it until the last moment as late applications will NOT be accepted. Good luck.
To download an application pack visit Website
Packs MUST be hand delivered, albeit someone can deliver on your behalf if you are busy or can’t attend. An elections officer will check for any errors in completing the forms.
Delivery to St Albans District Council (SADC) is from 25 March 08:45 to 3 April 16:00.
Opening hours at the SADC offices for receipt of Nomination papers are:-
Mon 25th-Thurs 28th March 08:45-17:00
Friday 29th March 08:45-16:45
Mon 1st-Tues 2nd April 08:45-17:00
Wed 3rd April 08:45-16:00