What do Parish Councils Do?

The Parish Council is independent of other levels of government i.e. Borough and County, but maintains a close working relationship with both. The powers of Parishes vary depending on how large and how active they are. The council will meet (at least) four times a year, including (at least) one public meeting.

Parish Councils are democratically elected to serve a defined local area. They are also the voice and conduit of 'grass roots' opinion and feeling to higher levels of local government and to other statutory bodies and organisations.

Responsibilities

Communications car and cycle parks - footway lighting - public footpaths, bridleways and right of way-signs (warning signs, place names and so on) - postal and telephone facilities (a Parish Council may act as guarantee to the authorities for any losses to the continued provision of these facilities to a parish) - public transport initiatives (making of grants, fare concession schemes and so on) - traffic calming measures.

Health and well-being public toilets - water and drainage (cleaning of ponds, ditches and drains) - litter management - crime prevention (installation of equipment, establishment of schemes for detection or prevention of crime).

Outdoors allotments - sports and recreation, play areas - roadside verges - open spaces, parks and greens - commons (power to protect) - swimming pools - seats and shelters.

Various buildings provision and maintenance of halls - indoor recreation - public clocks.

Entertainment, the arts and tourism provision of entertainment, maintenance of bands, erection of flagpoles, advertising to encourage visitors - and so on.

Care of the dead provision, or contribution to, burial grounds - maintenance of war memorials

Planning Parish Councils can choose to comment on local planning applications. The District Council has to take into account these comments (but it not bound by them), and is obliged to inform the Parish Council of the outcome of applications on which it has commented

Byelaws Parish Councils have a general power to make byelaws for the good rule and government of its area.

Education Parish Councils have the right to appoint a governor to each county or voluntary primary school in its area.

Charities Parish Councils may be concerned with 'Parochial charities'; charities 'The benefits of which are ...confined to the inhabitants of the parish".

Parish Councils can also spend additional money (up to £3.50 per elector) on other items and initiatives; for "any purpose which in its opinion is of direct benefit to its area of to the inhabitants'.

Councillors

The Councillors have an active interest and concern for their local community.  They represent local people and work in partnership with them and others when necessary.  They help facilitate the provision of local services and facilities and take decisions that form the policy of the Council.

Councillors are not paid and have to abide by a local government Code of Conduct and declare their financial interests in the parish.  Councillors must also declare a personal or prejudicial interest in any matter under discussion at a parish council meeting.

Your Parish Councillors: see here.

Rooksdown Borough Councillor: Simon Bound (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Rooksdown County Councillor: Robert Taylor (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)