2021 Local Elections
6 May 2021
Marlborough Town Council
What is a Town Council?
A town or parish council is the tier of local authority closest to its community. It elects representatives from that community – democracy on your doorstep.
Your town council delivers important, every day, local services unique to Marlborough. So, things like play areas, parks, public toilets, CCTV, cemeteries, tourism, the Town Hall and Youth Centre as well as events such as the Christmas Lights switch-on and Remembrance Parade.
Other services, like roads, pavements, car parks, social care, markets and education are provided at a unitary level by Wiltshire Council. There are elections for Unitary Councillors to represent Marlborough running alongside the election for our Town Councillors: there’s nothing to stop you standing for both councils if you wish.
The Town Council works alongside Wiltshire Council and other agencies to influence planning, highways, transport, environment and other matters.
Unlike the Unitary Council, your Town Council is strictly apolitical and party politics have no place at our meetings!
You’ll be signing up to a 4-year commitment. You will be summoned to meetings and expected to attend: typically on Monday evenings but sometimes at other times too. You will also be expected to attend civic events such as the Civic Service. As well as attending Council and Planning Committee meetings other Committees you can join cover specialist areas such as properties, open spaces, staffing, finance and civic events. You can also join one-off working parties to spend more time on a single topic such as tourism or special events like the Dark Skies Festival.
No single Town Councillor can make decisions. All decisions are made by Councillors via Committees, and Town and Parish Councils are governed by legislation and follow Standing Orders and Financial Regulations. Scheduled meetings are open to the public and can be recorded and filmed. It sounds daunting but there will be lots of support to ease you into your new role.
Being a Town Councillor is a voluntary role and receives no financial remuneration with the exception of the Town Mayor who can claim an allowance for Mayoral expenses. It’s a serious commitment which can be enormously rewarding when you see positive change take place and know that you’ve played a part.
The Council Chamber - where we meet when COVID rules allow
Town Council staff
There is a team of 15 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, projects and tourism as well as providing support and advice to Councillors and implementing their decisions.
What about money?
By law, the Town Council is entitled to levy a tax from its area. Each year it calculates the money it needs to provide services and projects 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.
Who can become a Town Councillor?
If you meet the following requirements you can stand as a candidate.
You should be:
- A UK, Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland or EU citizen
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the parish or have lived, worked or owned property in or within 3 miles of the parish boundary 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 Nomination Packs: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/elections-2021 and https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/elections-becoming-a-councillor
Guidance is also available on the Electoral Commission website at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk
Nominations close at 4pm on 8 April
Are you ready to give back?
Whatever you feel meets the needs of our community in Marlborough and Manton you could be the person to drive things forward.
The elected term is four years. There are 16 seats: 9 in Marlborough East Ward and 7 in Marlborough West Ward. More on Wards here...
Being a good and effective Councillor requires commitment and hard work. It can be a rewarding and privileged form of public service where you will be able to make a difference to the quality of local people’s daily lives. What you get out of it will depend on what you put in.
Being a Councillor - in their own words
If you're still not sure, some of our 2018-2021 term councillors have shared their experiences on becoming a Town Councillor
Come to a council meeting or talk to the Town Clerk to find out more.
Marlborough Town Council, Council Offices, 5, High Street, Marlborough SN8 1AA
Telephone our enquiries line: 07593 584099 / 01672 512487