New Member Page

New Member Page

Welcome to Caxton Parish Council. Congratulations on your election or co-option to the Parish Council

As a new Councillor there is some important information to be aware of and some general information that you may find useful. If you come across some information that you think would be useful to other new councillors please contact the Clerk.

Much of the information below is a summary and not intended to be exhaustive. The Clerk will advise on procedure and give advice to the Council as necessary either in writing or at the meeting.

Following your election/co-option (urgent)

Before you take your seat as a councillor you must sign your “declaration of acceptance of office” form. This must be signed in the presence of another councillor (who has already completed the declaration) or in the presence of the Clerk. A copy can be found here. This must be completed at the meeting you are co-opted (if you are present) or before the start of the next meeting if you are elected or not present at the meeting you are co-opted at. If this is not completed your seat will automatically fall vacant and the council will have to go through a process of advertising the vacancy which includes a statutory notice period for a bye-election.

Within 28 days of taking office (signing the declaration of acceptance of office) you must complete and return a completed “register of members interests” form to the Monitoring Officer at South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC). You must declare any relevant interests on the form. Failure to submit this within the timescales or failure to declare a relevant interest is an offence under the Localism Act 2011.

The Agenda and Decisions

The Clerk usually aims to publish the agenda one week before the meeting (subject to other commitments) if you have anything you would like to the Council to consider please ensure you provide a clear agenda item (e.g. to consider maintenance required to trees on the Recreation Ground or proposal the Parish Council orders a new bench to be located in outside 1 High Street) along with any supporting information you think the Councillors need to make a decision (even in your absence. If you are unable to attend and the council has to defer an item it significantly delays the item being progressed).

At the meeting when proposals to carry out an action are made please ensure it is clear what the Council is going to do and who is going to action it. Discussion about a matter does not mean anything will happen unless there is a clear proposal, seconder and a vote.

The Parish Council is unable to revisit a decision within 6 months unless an order is received in accordance with the relevant standing order. It is important that the Council considers items appropriately before making a decision.

Code of conduct

The Parish Council is required to adopt a code of conduct. The Parish Councils code of conduct can be found on the policies page on the website.

Councillors are required to follow the code of conduct whenever they are acting in their capacity as a councillor (e.g. at a meeting or caring out a council function). It is strongly advised that Councillors undertake suitable training.

Cllrs must, either under the relevant agenda item or as soon as practical after a councillor becomes aware of an interest at a meeting, declare the type and nature of the interest (e.g. I am declaring a pecuniary interest as the planning application is for my property) and leave the meeting if required by the code of conduct.

The register of interests must be updated if there is a change in your declarable interests within 28 of the interest being declared at a meeting.

It is Cllrs responsibility to submit and keep registers up to date and to make declarations at a meeting. Advice can be sought from CAPALC (Cambridge and Peterborough Association of Local Council) which the council is affiliated to.

Subject to circumstances you may be able to apply for a dispensation which could allow you to wither speak about a topic or speak and vote where you have a declaration, please contact the clerk for more information if you think this is necessary.

Please note that breaches for pecuniary interprets may be criminal offences under the Localism Act 2011.

Attendance at meetings & resignation

Parish Councillors are summoned to attend meetings, in the same way you would be summoned to attend court. Councillors must attend unless they have a reasonable excuse; the only statutory excuses for non attendance are deployment in the armed forces, or civil unrest). If you are unable to attend a meeting please send your apologies in writing to the Clerk and Chairman ahead of the meeting.

If you do not attend a meeting of the Parish Council within a 6 month period your seat will automatically fall vacant. Please note that as the Parish Council currently meets bi-monthly on the 2nd Thursday of the month there are instances where missing 2 consecutive meetings (e.g. if you attend a meeting on the 12 January 2023 and miss the meetings on the 9th March and 11 May your seat would fall vacant on the 11 July 2023 before the meeting on the 13 July) can lead to your seat falling vacant unless the parish council explicitly approves your reasons for absence before the seat falls vacant. It is Councillors responsibility to ask for absence approval as it is normal practice to “note” rather than approve apologies received.

If you are unable to continue as a Parish Councillor you must give your resignation in writing to the Chairman (with a copy to the Clerk). Verbal resignations cannot be accepted even if said at a council meeting.

Please note once you resign it takes effect immediately and there is no mechanism to retract. You are not required to give reasons or discuss your resignation with the Clerk or other Councillors unless you wish to do so. When you resign you must cease all actions you are undertaking on behalf of the council (unless previously agreed by the Council that you can continue) and you will lose access to your official email account. You must delete or return (as appropriate) any confidential council information that you hold (such as employee records or data protected information) and return any equipment you have been issued.


Council policies can be found on the website here.

Policies are reviewed annually at the Annual Parish Council meeting in May. Some policies are model policies provided by relevant bodies (such as Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and FOI Publication Scheme) while others are bespoke to Caxton Parish Council.


There is frequently training available to councillors which will be circulated by email. Training covers many different areas of council business and is often available in person, online or as pre-recorded videos. It is strongly advised that Councillors undertake regular relevant training to understand the various responsibilities and powers of the Council and to keep up with the changes in legislation and guidance.

Training info can be found on CAPALC’s website.

If there is a cost to the training which has not been approved by the Council please contact the Clerk.

Accounts and Audit

Previous years accounts and audit information can be found here.

The Parish Council’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March. The Parish Council is audited annually by an internal auditor (which the Council appoint) and externally (who is appointed by the SAAA). The Parish Councils current internal auditor is Jacquie Wilson of CANALBS ltd and the external auditor is PKF Littlejohn. There is information about the Audit process on PKF’s website here. The Parish Council must approve its annual accounts and Annual Governance and Accountability Return by the 30 June.
The Parish Council is able to declare itself exempt from external audit (but not internal audit) if both its receipts and payments during the financial year are under £25,000.

Useful Links

General information




1408 Openness_Guide


Event-ManagementGood Councillors Guide 2019











Out of pocket expenses claimform

Parish Councillors Guide to insurance