What is a parish council and how do I become a parish councillor?

A parish council like Clapham represents the grassroots of local government, with elections held every four years.

As your elected representatives, Clapham’s Councillors are committed to representing the views and concerns of those who have elected them. Each member gives their time freely, working hard to understand local concerns, debate issues within council meetings and use their best judgement to make decisions. The role is not however limited to meetings, where issues are debated and decisions made, and being active in the community is an important aspect of the role.

Although a parish council must meet at least four times each year Clapham Council meets bi-monthly, on the fourth Thursday of that month, and always welcomes the public to join and speak during an open session at the start of every meeting.

While the council elections take place every four years, from time to time casual vacancies occur during the four-year term of office and these can be filled, either by election or – when an election is not called – by co-option when the Council will vote to fill the vacancy.

No formal qualifications are required to be a councillor, just the passion and commitment to make a difference to your community, and  if you can say ‘Yes’ to the following the Council would love to hear from you!

  • British or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
  • At least 18 years old
  • Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election


If you would like to know more about the role of a councillor please contact our clerk, Sarah, who will be happy to answer any questions, provide further information and perhaps arrange for you to shadow an existing councillor.

The Council currently has two vacancies and is always pleased to speak to anyone in the parish who might be interested in becoming a councillor.

Notice of Casual Vacancy – 29 July 2021