Local Elections

Thursday May 2nd 2024

Both Parish and Borough Council elections will take place on Thursday 2nd May 2024.

12 Councillors will be elected for Lymm Parish Council’s two wards – Lymm North and Lymm South.

The deadline to submit a nomination form is 4pm on 5th April 2024.  All information about becoming a Councillor can be found on Warrington Borough Council’s website

The role of a Parish Council

The Parish Council (or Town Council in some areas) is the tier of local government closest to the community.

The Council is a corporate body and legal entity. Its decisions are the responsibility of the whole body, even if certain Councillors voted against a decision. The Council has been granted powers by Government including the ability to raise money through taxation (known as the precept), as well as a range of powers to spend public money. With over 9,000 local councils in England, the precept ranges from a few thousand pounds up to seven figures. In 2022-23, 104 Parish and Town Councils had a precept above £1 million. As Parish Councils are legal entities, legislation informs Councils how they must operate and carry out their business.

Parish Councils have fewer duties and more flexibility to choose how to work with, and benefit, the community.

  • A Council MUST do what the law requires it to do
  • A Council MAY only do what the law says it may do
  • A Council cannot do anything unless permitted to do so by legislation. 

Warrington Borough Council sits above the Parish Council and is known as the principal council or authority, providing services such as education, housing, town and country planning, social services and transportation.

The role of a Parish Councillor

Councillors have the responsibility to:

  • represent the whole electorate and not just those that voted for them
  • attend meetings when summonsed to do so. The notice to attend meetings is, in law, a summons, because Councillors have a duty to attend
  • consider, in advance of the meetings, the agenda and any related documents sent in advance or tabled by the Clerk at the meeting
  • take part in meetings and consider all the relevant facts and issues on matters which require a decision including the views of others expressed at meetings
  • avoid predetermination of decisions taken at meetings – decisions must be made during the meeting considering discussions at the meeting
  • take part in voting and respect decisions made by the majority of those present and voting – Councillors can only vote if they are present at the meeting
  • ensure, with other Councillors, that the council is properly managed.

Lymm had 9756 electors on the electoral register in August 2023.

Whether Councillors are elected at an election, by co-option or at a by-election, it has no bearing on the role.  All Councillors work together equally to serve the community.

Councillors often have different backgrounds, interests and enthusiasms and is a strength to a Parish Council.

It is the responsibility of Councillors to be well informed, especially about diverse local views. Training is available and encouraged.

Lymm Parish Council carried out a community survey in December 2023 to help the Parish Council make decisions on the precept level and project and service delivery for 2024-25.

Nolan Principles

There are 7 Nolan Principles that apply to the conduct of those in public life

  1. Selflessness – Councillors should act in the public’s interest
  2. Integrity – Councillors should not put themselves under any obligations to others
  3. Objectivity – Councillors should act impartially, fairly and on merit
  4. Accountability – Councillors should be prepared to submit to public scrutiny to ensure accountability
  5. Openness – Councillors should be transparent in their actions and decisions unless there are clear and lawful reasons for non-disclosure
  6. Honesty – Councillors should always be truthful
  7. Leadership – Councillors should promote, support and exhibit high standards of conduct and be willing to challenge poor behaviour.

Code of Conduct

Each local council must adopt and publicise a code of conduct that is in line with the Nolan principles. The code should deal with councillor’s obligations about their conduct including the registration and disclosure about their conduct including the registration and disclosure of their interests.

Councillors must abide by rules that apply to the disclosure of some business or financial interests.  These are called ‘disclosable pecuniary interests’ or DPIs.  They can include employment, ownership of land or property, and business interests.

Non pecuniary interests include memberships of organisations including political parties.

The Clerk

The clerk is the proper officer of the Council in law. Legally, councils can delegate decisions to clerks as they are trusted professional officers whose objectivity allows them to act for the Council. The clerk is answerable only to the Council as a whole, and is not a secretary, responding to individual Councillors demands, even the Chair.

The role of the clerk is to provide advice and administrative support, and to implement Council decisions. The clerk may have to act as a project manager, event manager, HR director, PR officer and a finance

Meetings

Full Council

The whole Council meets every second Tuesday of the month, except during August.

Committees

Committees are made up of Councillors and the Committees can have delegated duties, able to make some decisions. Planning Committee meets every 3 weeks, excpet through August,  and all others meet when necessary but usually a minimum of 3-4 times a year. There are currently 5 Committees:

  1. Planning
  2. Resources (Finance and assets including the village hall)
  3. Staffing
  4. Environment
  5. Events

Lead Councillors 

They are responsible for a certain area of work.  Current lead councillor roles are:

  • Airports
  • Allotments
  • Local Business Liaison
  • Lymm library and hub
  • Protection of the greenbelt

Working Groups 

These are not as formal as Council meetings, and do not need an agenda, formal minutes or a Clerk. Residents can also be involved in working groups. Currently, there are working groups for:

  • Public Rights of Way
  • Litter picking
  • Sunken Gardens reimagining
  • Speeding and traffic sensors
  • Events
  • Neighbourhood Plan
  • Village hall roof replacement and hall redevelopment

Further information

National Association of Local Councils

Established in 1947, the National Association of Local Councils is the only national body that represents the interests of 10,000 local (parish and town) councils in England. NALC works in partnership with county associations to support, promote and improve local councils.

Cheshire Association of Local Councils

The Cheshire Association of Local Councils (ChALC) is a member based organisation that exists to promote the rights and interests of Town and Parish Council across Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington, Trafford and Halton Boroughs.

ChALC also provides professional support for member councils in all aspects of their work and when necessary can provide formal, legal advice on a wide range of council related issues.

Local Government Association 

LGA is the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

Warrington Borough Council

The principal authority.