VILLAGE councils are struggling to get volunteers with one parish seeing just two people willing to stand for election.

Of the 27 parish and town councils in Tendring, just four are going to have an election next month in at least one or more of their wards.

Another four have managed to recruit the number of people needed to fill the council.

But a staggering 19 parish and town councils have fallen short.

In Great Oakley only one former parish councillor is standing for another term, and only two people have come forward in total for the nine seats available.

Official rules mean the council cannot legally function with fewer than three members and therefore will have to reopen nominations after the election in a bid to fill more seats.

Chairman Steve Huk said is standing down after about 16 years on the parish council, many of those as chairman, due to personal reasons.

He said: “It’s not new not to have enough people to fill the hall, I don’t believe it’s that unusual to have vacancies but to have seven is not good.

“Why people haven’t come forward I really don’t know, it’s a sign of the times.

“It seems to be the same people involved in various organisations.”

Martin Rayner, chairman of Mistley Parish Council, said his council has been running two councillors down for some time and has struggled to recruit despite advertising the positions.

He said: “It’s probably because we rely on people who have been retired but we have been trying to see how we can encourage people who work.

“If you live in the Manningtree area you are likely to be working in London.

“We moved our start time to 7.45pm to allow for people to get back and are looking to move to a Friday meeting rather than Monday as people can sometimes get away earlier on a Friday.

“But there hasn’t been that interest.

“The commitment is to have meetings once a month or six weeks plus planning meetings but it’s not a massive commitment, though it is a regular commitment.”

Mr Rayner said the problems to recruit councillors could be down to residents not always being as involved or interested in their own communities nowadays.

He added: “It’s probably symptomatic of this first tier of local government, you have to have a passion for your community.

“I don’t know if social media makes a difference, we used to have a number of people turning up for parish council meetings to find out what is going on but now we get one or two.”

Mr Rayner is not standing at this election after 12 years on the council and ten years as chairman.

Frinton and Walton Town Council, Harwich Town Council, Wrabness Parish Council and one ward in St Osyth Parish Council are contested and will hold elections on May 2.

For more information about the district and parish elections or becoming a parish councillor visit