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Volunteers wanted for community councils in Kennington and South Willesborough and Newtown - 6th April

Volunteers wanted for community councils in Kennington and South Willesborough and Newtown - 6th April

Do you live in the areas of Kennington and South Willesborough and Newtown? Are you keen to play your part in improving the lives of your fellow residents by getting involved in matters that are important to your community?

These two areas will have community councils to represent them from spring 2019. Much like parish councils do in other areas, the community councils will get involved in local issues and represent the best interests of residents. 

Ashford Borough Council is looking for volunteers from those communities who can help to set up the community councils. The first elections to these two new bodies will be held in May 2019 but there is plenty of work to do before then, especially from now until October. 

For each area, Ashford Borough Council is assembling a group known as a shadow council who can inform the establishment of the community councils. The groups will include local borough councillors, representatives from existing community forums as well as local residents keen to take part.

The primary role of the shadow councils is to put everything in place so that the community councils are ready to hit the ground running from day one. Work includes budget preparation, policies and procedures, standing orders, financial regulations, complaints procedure, codes of conduct, insurance, training and parish clerk recruitment.

Anyone interested in assisting with the work of the shadow council for either area will need to be able to commit around four hours a week, unpaid, and be available to attend meetings and training. They will need to be able to understand and give feedback on items like draft budgeting, policies and procedures and financial regulations. The role will suit enthusiastic and flexible individuals, who have excellent attention to detail.

If you want to put yourself forward to assist with the shadow councils, please email legal.support@ashford.gov.uk no later than Friday 20 April. The first training session for the shadow councils takes place on Thursday 3 May and volunteers should be available to attend this.

Please include a brief summary of any relevant experience you have. If there are more applicants than places available, preference will be given to those who can demonstrate an interest or background in engagement with community issues and/or appropriate administrative skills. Organisational, communication and IT skills would be an advantage.

Why are the community councils being created in these two areas of Ashford?

They are being created in response to a Community Governance Review undertaken in 2015-16. A ballot was held of all Ashford residents who are currently not represented by a parish council. The ballot was split into five areas: Central Ashford, Kennington, North Willesborough, South Ashford and South Willesborough and Newtown.

Of these five areas, two – Kennington and South Willesborough and Newtown – voted ‘yes’ to the creation of a community council.



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For further information, please contact our Press Office on 01233 330543 or email Jeff.Sims@ashford.gov.uk

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