The Parish Council’s Role
The Parish Council is the first of the three tiers of Local Government, the other two being the County Council and District Council. Seven councillors are elected every four years and the next Election will be held in May 2015.
Councillors work voluntarily but the Clerk is paid for 15 hours per week and provides all the administrative support required.
The Council meets in public every 6 weeks; additional meetings are held as required, for example to consider planning applications . At the beginning of each meeting an open session gives parishioners an opportunity to raise issues with the Council. Our District Councillor sometimes attends the meetings to report on matters of interest and they will liaise with their respective councils on our behalf. Our local PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) usually attends meetings.
In May an Annual Parish Meeting is held when the Chairman reports to parishioners..
What does the Parish Council do?
The Parish Council is a statutory local authority in its own right, having a wide variety of powers and duties conferred by many statutes and as such undertakes a vital role within the local government system, the importance of which should not be under-estimated by the community. The Council works with our County and District Councils and other bodies to ensure the needs of the Parish and its residents are not overlooked.
Many parishioners are unaware of the broad range of statutory powers, duties and procedures which provide the legal framework for the Council’s business and conduct. Briefly the Council’s role can be described as follows:-
The power of decision in accordance with statutory functions and duties.
For example expressing views about planning issues and consultation documents, representation on the various committees of relevant organisations, both locally and countywide.
Taking the lead on issues affecting the interests of the area, eg. highways, footpaths, general maintenance, trees, etc.
The power to raise a precept from the local inhabitants and make financial decisions which will benefit the community. The precept is collected with the Council Tax by the District Council. The Council’s income and expenditure is very closely monitored and the Accounts are audited annually by independent Auditors.