Parish councils are statutory bodies, set up and controlled by Acts of Parliament. These Acts determine what the council must do (its duties), what it can choose to do (its powers), and what it cannot do.
Members are elected for a term of four years and councils are funded principally by an annual precept. The Precept is added to council tax, collected by the county, borough or district council (principal authorities) and paid to parishes in two six-monthly instalments. Parish and town councils can apply for other funding such as grant and funding awards, but they do not receive funds direct from central government, as principal authorities do.
The Clerk is the professional officer employed by the council to provide administrative assistance and advice before, during and after meetings. The Clerk also acts as the Council’s Responsible Finance Officer.
The Councillors are volunteers from the parish whose job it is to represent the interests of the community. Councillor details and responsibilities are listed under Councillors.
The Parish Council is supported by the District Councillor and the County Councillor for the area.
An agenda and minutes are produced for every meeting and the council also has ‘rules for conducting business’ which are known as Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.
Parishioners are very welcome to attend meetings, even if it’s just to listen, but if they wish to speak on any matter there is time allocated before the business starts during public question time.