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Case study: Parish plan,                       How are parish or town
Hutton-le-Hole Parish Council                  councillors elected?

Number of councillors: 5                       Parish or town councillors are elected to
Size of electorate: 150                        represent a geographical area known as
                                               a ward or – mainly in smaller parishes – the
Hutton-le-Hole Parish Council embarked         parish or town council area as a whole. They
on a project aimed at supporting               are elected by people who live in the area.
a local parish plan to develop the local
community. Firstly, the council obtained       If the parish is divided into wards an election
a grant to carry out the project and formed    is held in each ward, the same way elections
a steering group to take it forward. The       are held in district wards and in county
council then sent out questionnaires           electoral divisions. If the parish doesn’t have
to all households, including a separate        wards there is just a single parish election.
questionnaire specifically aimed at young
people. The majority of the questionnaires     Most parish elections are on the same cycle,
were returned and showed differing             with elections in 2007, 2011, 2015, and so
perspectives on village life. Young people     on. However, parish elections may instead
in the village were also given disposable      be held together with associated principal
cameras to record their every day lives.       council elections.
All the photographs and comments were
displayed at a launch evening on the           To find out when your parish or town council
parish plan at the village hall.               has elections contact your local electoral
                                               office at your district or borough council.
An action plan was developed and as a          For details visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
direct result a youth shelter has been built.
Additionally, the Village Hall Committee       Under current law parish and town councils
has received £32,000 in grants which           can only be established in certain areas
have helped pay for an upgrade to the          of England. The government has recently
building. It now hosts a monthly meeting       published a white paper called Strong and
for young people and their families and        prosperous communities which proposes
an annual barbecue.                            that parish councils should be able to be
                                               established anywhere in England if the
These initiatives have increased the sense     local community wants one.
of community and given residents of all
ages a voice and a stake in the future         For more information see
of the parish.                                 www.communities.gov.uk

                                               Who can vote in parish or
                                               town council elections?

                                               To vote in any election you need to be
                                               registered to vote. To get on the electoral
                                               register contact the electoral services at
                                               your local district or borough council or
                                               visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk to download
                                               a registration form. You can register to vote
                                               when you are aged 16 years or over but
                                               you need to be 18 or over to vote.

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