The Council represent the Parish and support the community as a whole, acting as a corporate body. A council is made up of an odd number of persons who live or work within the Parish or within three miles of the boundary. The minimum number of Councillors is five. Councillors must set a Precept and budget and insure against Councillors taking money. Councillors are required to spend money lawfully and are duty bound to obtain the best value for money, they must ensure that adequate arrangements for administration of monies to be in place. Council must hold an Annual Parish Council Meeting which must take play in the month of May, excepting in election years when such meeting must take place within 14 days of results being confirmed and Councillors taking office. In addition there must be at least three ordinary meetings during a year. Council must formally consider provision of allotments if request(s) in writing is received from at least six electors, and must be mindful that if certain items of benefit to the Parish are provided, for example seating or bicycle stands, then the responsibility comes to maintain such items.
Councillors may not be a paid Proper Officer of the Council and should at all times protect/ promote the interests of the community. Councillors must make written declaration of acceptance of office and agree to be bound by Council’s Code of Conduct. Failure to do this means that his place immediately falls vacant. Councillors are required to attend meetings or, if unable to do so, provide apology and explanation for absence. Councillors must as necessary declare Interest – either prejudicial or personal – in cases where any agenda item or part thereof conflicts with another role within the community and dependent on circumstances should leave the room temporarily and/or abstain from voting. Councillors must manage funds lawfully, ensure adequate controls are in place, and take part in the election of a Chairman annually. Councillors should assist in appointment of a Clerk, check to see that decisions are implemented, suggest initiatives and debate issues, act courteously to other Councillors and afford access of public/press to meetings. If offering resignation, Councillors are required to provide this in writing to the Chairman.
The Chairman is elected annually at The Annual Parish Council Meeting and is required to sign a declaration of acceptance of office immediately after the election. The role is to Chair meetings of the Parish Council if present and should encourage debate so as to ensure that every Councillor wishing to speak is afforded that opportunity and that practical and useful decisions are made by the council. The Chairman should ensure that discussions are kept relevant and only allow decisions upon items on the agenda. In addition the Chairman may be called upon to represent the Parish Council at other meetings and as such represent the council in a proper manner with outside organisations and at other meetings or conferences. The Chairman has a casting vote where necessary and also has the right to ask that a member of the public, after due warning as to conduct, be removed from a meeting. The Chairman may nominate another Councillor to act as Vice-Chair, and should sign the Minutes of previous meeting(s) once accuracy has been established and vote taken, or nominate another Councillor to provide signature if he/she was not present at the relevant meeting.
The Clerk is the appointed Proper Officer of the council and may also be the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO), responsible for all the financial records of the council and administration of all finances. The Parish Clerk will liaise with the Chairman to produce an agenda for meetings including the Annual Parish Council Meeting and summons Councillors to attend whilst at the same time notifying the public of forthcoming meetings and agenda, giving a minimum of three clear days notice. At meetings the Clerk supports the Chairman in the running of same and makes an accurate record including votes taken. The Clerk shall ensure that business is conducted in accordance with law and guide council on legal matters. The Clerk may sign and receive documents on behalf of the council including Deeds, he must not accept any fee other than normal agreed salary, and must declare if there is a pecuniary interest in any matter the council takes on. The Clerk is responsible for carrying out decisions of council, supervising staff and contractors and should keep up to date with changes in legislation.
Details of your Parish Councillors can be found on the Councillors page.