Parish and Town Councils are the most local level of government in the England. They areindependent bodies and have responsibility for:
• Representing all residents in the parish.
• Running local services that may include: allotments, cemeteries, community buildings, recreation and play areas, seating, bus shelters, litter bins and local transport schemes.
• Commenting on planning applications and long-term development issues.
• Collecting money for their budget through the ‘precept’ as part of council tax. Each parish council has the power to set it’s own budget according to their plans for the year and therefore can decide what the precept level should be to provide the required funding.
• And also have wide-ranging powers to become involved in further activities that contribute towards the improvement of the environment and quality of life in the parish.
Who are the Parish Councillors?
All parish councillors are local residents, lives within 3 miles or own properlty/land. They are volunteers and have either been elected by the public or have been co-opted by the parish council; they are unpaid and serve a four year term. The office of parish clerk is a paid position that deals with the parish council’s administration.
How can I get involved?
The last Parish Council Elections were not contested, the team of Councillors remained the same and at present there are no vacancies. When a Councillor resigns, North Norfolk District Council has to be notified. They will issue an official Notification of Vacancy, which will be displayed in the notice boards around the village. If only one person comes forward, this person can be co-opted, but when more than one persons are volunteering, the sitting Councillors are allowed to interview the interested parties and co-opt a candidate, but the democratic way (and more expensive) is to call an Election.
We also need residents to help with the finalisation of the Parish Plan. Use the link to read for further information.
If you don’t want to become a parish councillor but are still interested in what is going on in your village – any member of the public can attend parish council meetings, including the parish council’s annual meeting. Any comments, suggestions, complaints etc. can be voiced during the Public Participation,which starts at 7.30pm for 1/2 hour, the duration of the Public Participation is not set in stone.
.How can I find out more?
• Have a look at the National Association of Local Councils website www.nalc.gov.uk or choose COUNCIL & DEMOCRACY and cllick on box COUNCILLORS at www.north-norfolk.gov.uk
• Visit the Norfolk Association of Local Council at www.norfolkalc.gov.uk or contact thems on 01603 664869 or e-mail [email protected]
• Contact your parish clerk: [email protected]orstead.co.uk