Would you like to be a
Parish Councillor
in 2024?

by Melanie Moorhouse

Towards the end of 2023, two vacancies have arisen on Kidlington's Parish Council. So, applicants are now invited from among the local community to restore the Council to its full membership of 15 places. Remaining Councillors are empowered to co-opt candidates to hold these two vacant positions at their meeting on 25 January 2024.

In the article that follows, Councillor Melanie Moorhouse describes making her own pathway to the Council Room at Exeter Hall in Kidlington. Melanie encourages you to consider doing the same: she invites you to contact her for more information about these important local roles.

Here is Melanie's article:

On being a Parish Councillor

W hen someone asked me in the Summer of 2022 if I would like to become a Parish Councillor, my answer was "No" — quickly followed by “What does a Parish Councillor actually do?”

Melanie Moorhouse
Melanie Moorhouse

Two elections, many meetings and a lot of reading later, I have a much better idea of what a Parish Council does and, as a Councillor, how I can contribute to its work. But if I hadn’t been asked that question, would I ever have thought about it?

Every Parish Councillor has their own reason for volunteering. I decided to stand for election because I really value community. Community has the power to do so much good — and also because, well, I am just one of those people who likes helping (and possibly struggles with saying no). I bake brownies for the school bake sales, offer lifts and help friends. With my professional hat on, for the last 14 years my career has been focused on helping young people figure out their futures. Before that, I held several customer service roles.

Being a Parish Councillor lets me give back to our community in a different and often much more invisible way. It can be challenging. Not all issues have obvious solutions and the responsibility of weighing up impact and consequences is one I take seriously. But I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the completion of projects: like the Coronation Garden at Home Close nearby Tesco in December 2023; and from helping to find a compromise that works, or come up with new ideas.

I have much more I want to do, including helping to improve our community engagement and I really want to increase the voice of our local young people. But as Councillors, none of us can make change happen alone, it takes a team and that team needs to be diverse in backgrounds, skillsets and interests.

Have you ever considered standing as a Parish Councillor?

If you would like to know more about what the Parish Council does, or learn from my own experiences so far, please contact me at melanie.moorhouse @kidlington-pc.gov.uk

Should you wish to apply to become a Parish Councillor please contact Rachel Faulkner at clerk @kidlington-pc.gov.uk or by calling the Parish Council's Offices at Exeter Hall on 01865-372143. Rachel will be able to tell you more about these roles, and let you know the process for co-option.

Melanie Moorhouse is a Local Councillor representing Roundham Ward on Kidlington Parish Council (KPC).

Visit the KPC website: here.