What is a Parish Council?
Parish or Town Councils are an important tier of Government within the UK; a Parish/Town Council is the smallest and most localised tier of local government in the UK and is a properly constituted local authority.
The powers and duties, and the manner in which a Parish Council operates, are laid out in local government statute and regulations; Parish Councils operate at a level below national government and also below district and borough councils. Parish & Town Councils are elected and can help on a number of local issues, like planning applications or running local sports grounds and community halls.
The Parish Council has legal responsibilities as an employer, and sometimes as an owner of public land and buildings.
Parish Councils are Statutory Bodies, having powers under a number of different Acts (the Local Government Act 1972, the Public Health Act 1936, etc.). Only a few Councils need to use all their available powers. It is up to each Council to choose what is appropriate for the community they serve.
The Council raises funds by the annual Precept is set in January of each year. The amount required is guided by the setting of the annual budget in the November preceding.
The Parish Council precept is added to the Council Tax bill and collected by Central Bedfordshire Council (on behalf of the Parish Council).
The Council also raises funds through grants from other organisations.
Stondon Parish Council
Stondon Parish Council has ten members. The work of the members of the Council is voluntary, and the members [Councillors]. They give their time freely to help enhance the village and support the village’s other organisations, for the benefit of all residents.
The Parish Council exists to help residents [sometimes called parishioners] and to be a point of contact for ideas and suggestions for improvements in the village. We have one employee, the Clerk, who manages all financial and administrative aspects in connection to council business.
The Council owns some open spaces and rent allotments on a leasehold section of land.
Stondon Parish Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the values of the Stondon community and to enhancing the quality of village life and pride in Stondon.
Its mission is:
- To promote and represent the interests of the village, to embrace progress and to improve the quality of life of the local community.
- To have a transparent and open relationship with the people of community; to understand their concerns, needs and aspirations; and to explain how the Council will address these within the powers and resources available to it.
- To encourage and promote social and community values by working with and supporting, where practicable, local organisations, groups and agencies to provide additional services and facilities to the village.
- To manage its assets and finances in an open, efficient and effective manner for the benefit of all residents.
- To encourage and promote the long term vitality and renewal of the village, where appropriate through partnerships with other Parish councils, organisations and all levels of government.
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