Why become a Knapton Parish Councillor

Outline map of the parish
What is a Parish Council

Parish Councils originated in medieval times and there are about 10,000 parish councils, representing over 16 million people across England.   Like each of the others, Knapton Parish Council represents the first level of government and the one closest to our community, with Norfolk County Council and North Norfolk District Council authorities above us in the hierarchy.

As the authority closest to the people we are invariably the first port of call for people who want to voice their thoughts, concerns or ideas, which we thoroughly encourage.   For this reason alone, we are a vital part of our community.   But we are so much more than that, making decisions on many walks of life on behalf of the residents in our parish.

In the last couple years alone we have completed over 40 projects ranging from adding and managing salt, dog and waste bins to purchasing and implementing a SAM2 speed awareness camera to setting up and organising the fabulous Knapton Angels, who have answered over 500 calls for help from our parishioners during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Join Us

If you’d like to know more about possibly becoming a Knapton Parish Councillor, please contact our Parish Clerk, Dee, whose details are on our Contact Form.
Dee will be able to answer any questions you may have and can explain the process, which is relatively simple and painless process.

By becoming a parish councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support – a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people you serve.

Why become a Parish Councillor

If you’ve never been to a parish council meeting before, you may be forgiven for thinking that parish councillors are a group of old fuddy duddies that are out of touch with today’s real world and who meet now and then in a dimly-lit, draughty village hall.
Well if you do, think again!

As a Knapton Parish Councillor, you will become someone that our community can look to for help, for guidance and support, someone who can make things happen, a leader within a team of leaders who have the power to influence decisions for those we live amongst, for those we serve.

Being involved in making decisions that improve life for your friends and neighbours will give you a huge sense of purpose

Dealing with the obstacles and making those changes happen in the face of adversity will give you a huge sense of achievement

Seeing the positive difference that those changes make will give you a huge sense of pride

Just being part of it… will make you feel awesome!

Peter Neatherway | Chair
Knapton Parish Council

All Parish Councillors are unpaid volunteers.   We do what we do because we want to make a difference.   Our various backgrounds merge together to weave a rich tapestry of experience and skill to make a team that simply wants to make things better for all those around us.

What decisions do Parish Council’s make

On their own, parish councils have limited powers to make decisions, you can read more about what they are here.

However, they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions and in this respect, parish councils are extremely powerful.   The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something and our views are taken seriously.

In the last two years, Knapton Parish Council has chalked up over 75 achievements by getting involved in any aspect of our community that;

  • could be made safer  – three Road Safety initiatives including the SAM2 camera
  • could be updated – Children’s Playground, village maps, signs
  • could help those in need – Knapton Angels, bench seating
  • could be improved – walkways to Mundesley & Knapton Green, dog bins
  • and so much more…
How much time does it take up

We are a very active parish council and our councillors go the extra mile for our parishioners by keeping in touch by email on issues and opportunities that arise between the monthly meetings.

In addition to attending the regular monthly meetings all councillors have portfolios which are specific responsibilities relating to the parish, such as Planning, Footpaths, Event Management, Allotments, Social Media etc. that usually tie in with the councillor’s interests

How much time these take up would be largely down to you.    After all, you would be giving your time freely…

Parish Duties

The duties and functions of a parish council are many and varied and we discuss and decide on a wide wide of topics that affect the parish and the residents that live in it, so it is an interesting position to hold.

The Parish Council meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month (except August and January) at 7pm in the Village Hall and may last up to two hours, depending upon how busy the agenda is.   At the end of each meeting the public is invited to bring to the attention of the council anything that concerns them, either directly or through the clerk.   If matters raised are not the responsibility of the council, the clerk can bring them to the attention of the proper authority.

In May there is the Annual Knapton Parish Meeting, which is a public meeting not a council meeting, followed by the Annual Meeting of the Council, which is a full council meeting open to the public where councillors and officers are elected and the plans for the following twelve months are laid out.

All the meetings are advertised on the council notice board in The Street and here on the website on the Whats On page, Home Page and Parish council pages.   You can also download Agendas and Minutes of past meetings from our archive here.

Why shouldn’t you join…

Perhaps the idea of being part of something good really appeals but there are lingering doubts about how it would fit in with the demands of an already busy daily life.
We understand that, because we have heard of all sorts of reasons for wanting – or not wanting – to join our village’s parish council, some of which may be based on simple misunderstandings of what is expected of a parish councillor.

So, in a tongue-in-cheek effort to make this decision a little easier for those trying not to fall off the fence, we have prepared a list of twelve reasons (or excuses) for not being a parish councillor, in the hope that it may help anyone in the same predicament the trouble of having to think one up…

12 excuses for not joining the Parish Council - image

Would you like to be part of something good…

If you would like to know more about becoming a Knapton Parish Councillor and having some influence on our village, you can email the Parish Clerk to find out if there are any current vacancies.   Elections to the Parish Council are held in each year in May at the Annual Meeting of the Council, although occasionally vacancies may arise during the year.

Be part of something good