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Parish Councils are the lowest tier in the country’s government and are tasked with representing the interests of local communities — an essential part of the structure of local democracy. The Council is constituted by parliament and wholly governed by legislation and as such can only do what the law permits. The Parish Council (PC) should not be confused with the Parochial Church Council (PCC) which deals with all matters relating to the church.
• give views, on behalf of the community, on planning applications and other proposals that affect the parish
• undertake projects and schemes that benefit local residents
• work in partnership with other bodies to achieve benefits for the parish
• alert relevant authorities to problems that arise or work that needs to be undertaken
• help the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities.
Here in Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green we also have overall responsibility for providing recreational areas and leisure facilities in addition to the management of open public spaces. This is a substantial estate including the Village Green and ponds, Horsefayre Green, Walter Hobbs Field, Millennium Park, Ted Marriage Field, Mill Lane Play Area, and the Tipps Cross Remembrance Hall complex among others.
Parish Councils are generally the least bureaucratic and cheapest form of government, raising the majority of its income from the ‘precept’ that is collected along with council tax by the borough council. Unlike any other tier of government, members receive absolutely no financial compensation or benefit and serve entirely voluntarily.
Councillors are chosen by residents of the parish every four years if there are more than 13 candidates for election at the time of voting. The Council has sub-committees to cover Planning, Parks and Open Spaces, and Policy and Resources.
Councillors must comply with a code of conduct and are regulated by Standing Orders and Financial Regulations. The position of parish councillor is entirely unpaid and in our case non-party political.
A precept (tax) on households is used to fund administrative costs and some projects. The precept is collected by Brentwood Borough as the local authority responsible for levying Council Tax