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What is a Parish Council?

Parish Councils, often referred to as the Local Council, are involved in the delivery of services and facilities for the benefit of the community of the area in which it has been established and it has a range of Statutory Functions and Powers related to the provision of these services and facilities. Particular Statutory Functions imposed on Parish Councils relate to the holding of meetings, the management of its finances and the preparation of Annual Accounts

A Parish Council can employ staff, particularly a Parish Clerk, and it can own and manage premises and enter into contracts for the benefit of its community. The Councillors are not employed and are in fact volunteers, giving their time for free.

A Parish Council has obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Human Rights Act 1998 and The Equality Act 2010.

What does Findern Parish Council do ?

All decisions about what Findern  Parish Council does will be taken at monthly meetings of the Council. Where appropriate some of its work can be delegated to a small group of councillors on a specific sub- committee. The public and press are welcome to attend all meetings, and the Agenda is published in advance on the Parish Council notice boards and website. It is, however, the councillors alone who will collectively make decisions about the Council’s business and what  services are to be provided for the benefit of the local community. Certain items of a confidential nature may be discussed in Exempt business; these will appear on the agenda but the public will be excluded during the discussion.

Findern Parish Council can get involved in a broad range of projects and activities with the aim of making the parish a better place to live. The Council has no statutory responsibilities regarding, for example, the provision of housing or social care, waste collection, highways maintenance etc, which are the responsibility of either the District Council or the County Council. On the other hand, the Government is encouraging  Parish Councils to deliver more services  and play a greater part in supporting its own community.

What is the role of a Findern Parish Councillor ?

Councillors will collectively decide and prioritise the activities that the Council will undertake, in particular determining the annual precept (a small amount taken from householders yearly Council Tax) and how the activities will be provided and funded. They have collective responsibility for ensuring the Council is adequately resourced and its financial management is sound.

A Councillor is expected to attend and participate at Parish Council meetings and to raise matters to be duly considered and decided. This will necessitate the consideration of the Agenda and any related documents in advance of the meeting. During the meeting the  Councillors  will consider all relevant facts and issues on matters requiring a decision and will take part in the voting, respecting the decision made by the majority.

Amongst other items, the Council will usually discuss planning applications, reports from District and County Councillors, ongoing activity within the parish and items brought to the attention of the Parish Council by members of the Public.

It is important that a Councillor represents the interests of the whole community, understanding the needs of its  different groups. Occasionally there will be a conflict of interest within the different groups and difficult decisions must be made in an open and reasoned way.

Parish Councils need active, interested and committed people prepared to get involved in the work they do

What is the role of the Clerk to Findern Parish Council ?

The Clerk’s role is to assist the Parish Council in the discharge of its Statutory Functions or duties and the exercise of its Statutory Powers. It is an essential role and is key in helping the Councillors implement their decisions. The Clerk is the only paid officer to  Findern Parish Council.

The Parish Council normally meets on the second Thursday of the month in the

Findern Parish Rooms / Bee’s Tea Rooms, commencing at  7.00pm. The meetings are open to the public with time set aside for public participation.

Disorderly Conduct at Parish Council meetings

If any person/persons attempt to obstruct the transaction of the Council’s business they will be asked to improve their behaviour.

If this request is ignored they may, subject to a vote by the Council, be excluded from the meeting. If the disruption still persists the Chairperson may take steps to restore order which may include temporarily suspending or closing the meeting.