What powers do Parish Councils have?
Parish councils have a range of legislative formal powers, such as providing play areas, village greens and allotments. But they can also monitor the services provided by the first tier of local government, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and influence the provision of services locally by such strategies as commenting on priorities set in Solihull Council’s Ward Action Plan.
Parish councils should also demonstrate that they have proven communication channels with parishioners through the provision of web sites, village newsletters, noticeboards and parish council “surgeries etc. It is also recommended that parish council’s write a Parish Plan setting out its own priorities for serving its community.
Who makes up the Parish Council and what do they do?
Hampton-in-Arden’s parish council consists of a paid clerk and a team of nine elected councillors (eight posts currently filled) who serve for a term of four years.
The council carries out the following duties:-
- Owns and maintains the recreation ground and village green
- Owns and maintains the Common at Catherine-de-Barnes
- Rents land to provide allotments at Fentham Road
- Contributes to maintenance of the churchyard
- Considers and where appropriate comments on planning applications within the parish
- Provides and maintains bus shelters, seating and litter bins
- Liaises with Solihull MBC and other partners to improve the village environment and services
Who pays for the Parish Council?
Each year the parish Council needs to set a budget, by considering its commitment to provide services to the local community and raises its funds through a “precept”. This money is collected from all households within the parish along with council tax. Parishioners are able to raise queries on the budget and any other issues of concern at the Annual Meeting with parishioners or directly with the council.
How is the Parish Council regulated?
Councillors are governed by a National Code of Conduct, monitored by the Standards Board. The parish council also has its own Terms of Reference and Standing Orders agreed by the parish council and reviewed each year.
Further details can be obtained from the parish clerk.