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. Constituted by parliament and wholly governed by legislation, a local council can only do what the law permits. Your 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 We must: • Hold an annual general meeting each May and a minimum of three further full council meetings each year • Organise an Annual Assembly, also to be held in May, open to all residents • Make our policies, decisions, and finances publicly available in compliance with legal statute We also: Organise events and facilities that contribute to the welfare of the community and the maintenance and improvement of the parish environment; liaise with other organisations and authorities to seek assistance and contributions that aid the interests of the community. Here in Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green we 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. A parish-owned mini-bus is managed for community use.
Parish Councils are generally the least bureaucratic and cheapest form of government, raising the majority of income from a small ‘precept’ that is collected along with council tax by the borough council. Unlike any other tier of government, its members receive absolutely no financial compensation or benefit of any kind and serve entirely voluntarily. It has been customary for our parish council to remain free of politics and so there is no party affiliation involved for those elected to membership.
Councillors are chosen by residents of the parish every four years. In our parish an election is held if there are 14 or more candidates. A ballot is not required if there are 13 or fewer 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.