Your Parish council = The closest tier of government to you.
The voice of local people.
What are community, parish and town councils?
There are around 10,000 community, parish and town councils in England and Wales; they are corporate bodies and local authorities. They have a powerful voice to represent local people .
What can these councils do ?
Community and parish and town councils are a part of local government closest to the people.They serve the smallest area and are responsible for the most local of matters.Very importantly, these councils can “precept” – raising a sum collected with the council tax each year to improve facilities and services for local people.
Parish and town and community councils in England and Wales have a number of basic responsibilities in making the lives of local communities more comfortable, many of which are often taken for granted. Essentially these powers fall with in three main categories:representing the whole electorate within the parish delivering services to meet local needs: and striving to improve quality of life in the parish.
Community parish and town councils can also comment on planning applications – they are statutory consultees (they have to be consulted if they so wish) and can be represented at public inquires.
How can I become a Parish Councillor ?
1 A person is qualified to become a Parish Councillor if:
He or She is a British subject, or a citizen of the Irish Republic or other Euro national and on the day he/she is nominated as a candidate for election, is over 18 and is an elector AND
2. During the whole 12 months preceding his or her nomination day, or the day of the election, resided or had his/ her principal place of work in the parish, or within 3 miles of it.
A person may not become a Parish Councillor if:1 They hold office a paid office or other place of profit in the gift of the Council.3 They have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to not less than 3 months imprisonment (including any suspended sentence) within the past five years. If you are interested in becoming a Parish Councillor, you can ;Contact the Parish Council and express your interest.
What decisions do Parish Councils make ?
Parish Councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community.Probably the most common topics that Parish Councils get involved with are planning matters , crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.
Its true to say that on their own Parish Councils have limited powers to make decisions. But they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions such as (Herefordshire Council,Health Authorities, Police etc.)
In this respect Parish Councils are extremely powerful.
The organisations that make the final decisions know that Parish Councils give the the best reflection of how a community feels about something, and its view will be taken seriously.
Information Supplied By HALC (Hereford Association of Local Councils)