About Your Parish Council

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Bradpole Parish Council comprises a maximum of 10 Councillors

The Legal Basis of the Council

Founded in 1894 under the 1894 Local Government Act Bradpole Parish Council is a corporate body, a legal entity separate from that of its members.

Its decisions are the responsibility of the whole body.

The council has been granted powers by Parliament including the important authority to raise money through taxation and a range of powers to spend public money.

The council is bound by a number of rules and policies:

see our “Policies” page.   

Parish Council Structure & Elections

Bradpole Civil Parish is divided into two wards; Bradpole Ward (9 seats) & Claremont Ward (1 seat)

Bradpole Parish Councillors are elected for a four-year term.

Contested elections are held providing that more than 10 candidates choose to stand.

From time to time vacancies occur on the Council between elections in which case the Council does have powers to co-opt* Councillors.

If a vacancy occurs on the Council this is advertised by the Returning Officer in accordance with electoral protocols.
If, as a result,  no-one is elected to fill the vacancy the Parish Council may then advertise the vacant role based upon the personal skills required to fill that vacancy, much like a job advertisement although it is, of course, an unpaid role.
See our Co-Option Policy: BPC CO-OPTION POLICY

Councillors roles are many and varied, it is the amalgamation of the councillors range of skills that enable the Parish Council to operate as a cohesive and efficient body for the benefit of all residents in the Civil Parish.

On average a councillor may expect to contribute 4 hours per week to council matters although this time may not be evenly spread.

The Parish Council depends on local people taking an interest in what happens in its community. Local people standing as Councillors can bring forward a wealth of knowledge and community understanding.

As more powers are devolved to Parish Councils it means that councillors can make a demonstrable difference in their neighbourhoods.

Interested? Contact the Bradpole Parish Clerk at


 The Role of the Parish Councillor

  • An unpaid volunteer who represents the Council to the Community and vice – versa using all appropriate means.
  • Is a channel of communication for the Parish and ensures constituents are informed of services available; decisions that affect them and the reasons for those decisions.
  • Deals with constituents’ enquiries and representations fairly and without prejudice.
  • Champions the causes which relate to the interests and sustainability of the Council’s area
  • Parish Councillors take collective decisions which form the policy of the Council. The policy of the Council will therefore reflect the views of the majority of its members.

Source: Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils (DAPTC)

Bradpole councillors adhere to The Nolan Principles of public life.

The following guide provides much information on the duties and responsibilities for our councillors:  Good Councillors Guide 2017

The Role of the Parish Clerk

  • The Clerk is the proper officer of the council in law.
  • The Clerk provides legal and financial advise and information to support the council’s decisions.
  • The Clerk is responsible for agendas and the recording of the minutes of council meetings.
  • the Clerk provides administrative support and takes action to carry out the council decisions.
  • The Clerk is the Responsible Financial Officer of Bradpole Parish Council
  • The Clerk is answerable only to the Council as a whole and not to individual Councillors, Officers of the Council.
  • The statutory and other responsibilities of the Parish Clerk are central to the internal administration of the Parish Council.

source: DAPTC

Unlike Bradpole Parish Councillors, whose work is unpaid, the Parish Clerk is a paid employee of the council and as such does not have a vote on council business but provides support as detailed above and is not answerable to any other body.

Councillors’ Interests

The Parish Clerk holds a register of Parish Councillors’ declared interests which can be viewed upon request.

Councillors declarations may be found alongside the list of councillors Bradpole Councillors

Councillors Allowances & Expenses

Bradpole Parish Councillors are unpaid volunteers.

An allowance scheme for councillors does exist which Bradpole Parish Council has NOT adopted.

Bradpole Councillors claim few, if any, expenses.

All of the above helps to keep your Council Tax lower than in those Council areas where Councillors’ allowances are paid under an Allowance Scheme.


Bradpole Parish Council is politically neutral.

Councillors volunteer their time freely for the benefit of Bradpole Civil Parish and all residents of the Community.

Bradpole Parish Council Meetings and how they work

Normally held on the first Thursday of each month in the Village Hall in Higher Street. Calendar

All members of the public and Press are welcome to attend and listen to the Council in action.

An Agenda is published on Parish Council notice boards and on this website at least three days before the meeting.

Whilst members of the public cannot intervene in Council business two “Democratic Periods” are available at these meeting to enable members of the public to ask questions of, or make statements to, the Council in respect to business on the agenda.

In accordance with the council’s Standing Orders (article 3g) the time allocated for this purpose to  each member of the public is limited to 5 minutes maximum.

Council decisions are made by a simple democratic and transparent  vote thus reflecting the views of the majority of its councillors.

Thursday morning surgery (suspended u.f.n. during the COVID pandemic)

The Parish Clerk is normally available for consultations in the Parish Council office at the Village Hall on Thursday mornings between 10.00a.m. and Noon.

If you wish to attend the morning surgery to discuss any issues please telephone the Clerk on the Thursday morning of your visit from 09.45 onwards:     tel: 01308 421379

What Parish Councils can do.

Whilst Parish Councils have a number of responsibilities, supported by legislation, these powers are limited. The following link provides an indication of where Parish Councils are permitted to act.