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Coffinswell Council size review

Please give us your views – Teignbridge District Council is reviewing the number of parish councillors for Coffinswell.

Teignbridge District Council has been asked by Coffinswell Parish Council to consider increasing the number of councillors on the parish council from 5 to 6. This is called a Community Governance Review (CGR). The request from the Parish Council states that an increase to the number of councillors will enable Coffinswell Parish Council to function more effectively and to distribute the workload of the parish more fairly and equally.

The parish of Coffinswell currently has 201 registered electors. The current level of 5 councillors gives a ratio of 1 councillor per 40 electors. The parish councillor to elector ratio within Teignbridge District for the largest parish electoral area is 1 councillor per 1,101 electors and for the smallest parish is 1 councillor per 23 electors. The average parish councillor to elector ratio within Teignbridge District is currently 1 councillor per 256 electors.

If the number of councillors on Coffinswell Parish Council was increased by one then the councillor to elector ratio would be 1 councillor per 33 electors.

What does a parish councillor do?

A parish councillor is someone within your community who you can look to for help, guidance and support – a community leader who can influence decisions for the benefit of the people they serve.

Parish councils usually meet once a month for the council meeting, to which members of the public are invited. Meetings may last two or three hours, depending on what’s on the list of items to discuss. Some councils may also have sub-committees to deal with specific subjects, such as planning matters, that meet in addition to the full parish council.

In order for a parish council meeting to be quorate (having a sufficient number of councillors present to transact business) there must be a minimum one third of councillors, or three councillors in attendance, whichever is greater.

Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention and roads and highways.

Parish councils have limited powers to make decisions but they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as district or county council, health authorities, police etc). The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something and its views will be taken seriously.

A parish council may have responsibility for looking after community buildings, open space, allotments, play areas and much more. They also have the power to raise money through taxation, this is called the precept.  The precept is the parish council’s share of the council tax.  The precept demand goes to the billing authority, the district council, which collects the tax for the parish council.

Once elected, parish councillors sit on the council for a maximum of four years.  If they want to stay in the post they can stand for re-election.

Elections in Coffinswell

There have been no contested elections to Coffinswell Parish Council.

At the four yearly elections from May 2003 to May 2019 the number of candidates who stood for election to the 5 seats were as follows:

2003 - 4 candidates

2007 - 5 candidates

2011 - 5 candidates

2015 - 5 candidates

2019 - 5 candidates

In 2003 where only 4 candidates stood for election the 4 candidates were elected without contest, with 1 councillor being co-opted by the parish council after the election to fill the remaining vacant seat. In 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 all 5 candidates standing at each election were elected without contest.

Casual vacancies occurring during the period between ordinary elections since 2003 have been filled by the parish council co-opting new councillors, as no requests have been received to fill any of them by election.

What happens now?

A consultation will run from Monday 28 March 2022 to Friday 6 May 2022, to find out what people think of the possibility of increasing the number of parish councillors for Coffinswell. It is important to point out that just because an increase has been requested, there is no guarantee that a change will be made. Public consultation is a very important part of a Community Governance Review and all views received will be taken into consideration.

How do I have a say on these suggestions?

You can contact us by email to  Please add the subject to your email: Coffinswell CGR.

If you would prefer, you can write to us at:

Electoral Services (CGR)
Forde House
Brunel Road
Newton Abbot
TQ12 4XX

We would like to know if you think it is a good idea to increase the number of parish councillors, or whether you think it should remain unchanged.

It is important that your views are submitted to us between Monday 28 March and Friday 6 May in order to be considered.

Who else will we be consulting with?

As well as our residents in Coffinswell, we will also consult with the following:

  • Coffinswell Parish Council
  • Teignbridge District Council
  • Devon Association of Local Councils
  • Local Government Boundary Commission for England

When this content has been updated

Last updated 3 March 2022