THE ROLE OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
Our Parish Council consists of five elected Councillors who are assisted by our Parish Clerk. In order to qualify as a candidate a person must be resident in the Parish and a registered voter. The councillors are elected for a period of four years. If, at the time of the election, the number of persons standing is less than or equal to the number of vacant posts there is no election and they are elected 'unopposed'. This means that there is no financial cost to the Parish. All Councillors are required to complete a Declaration of Interests in the Parish which is published on the South Glos website. In addition Councillors are required to declare any interest which may influence their decision-making at the start of each meeting.
In the event of a Councillor resigning during their term of office, or failing to attend six meetings in a row then a "Casual Vacancy" arises. This is then advertised and depending on the amount of interest in the position, the Parish Council can decide to "Co-Opt" a person onto the Council. They remain in post until the next election.
The Parish Council is funded by the "Precept" - details of which appear on Council Tax Demands issued by South Gloucestershire Council in March each year. The Parish Council sets its own budget from which it has to meet its expenditure. In our case this covers maintenance of the playing field (including insurance), paying for cutting of grass verges, the provision of some grit bins for the roads and other items
The Parish Council receives notification of all Planning Applications submitted to South Glos Council and has a right to comment upon them and have the views taken into consideration by the Planning Officer and Planning Committee in their decision making. Because the Parish Councillors are all local residents, we know our village and take into account residents opinions and feelings when replying to Consultations.
All Parish Council meetings are open to anyone who is on the Electoral Roll to attend as an observer. However, in line with all Council meetings, only those formally invited to contribute may speak. This can sometimes be in relation to representations over a planning application (to provide further information to help the Council decide on what comments to make for instance). It is up to the Chair of the meeting to decide if a person may speak.
The Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council is held in May each year.
The Annual Parish Meeting - at which anyone has a right to raise a matter without prior notice - is usually held in April.
Under rules introduced in 2015, all P.C. expenditure over £100 must be approved and Minuted at a Council meeting. In addition, the results of the Annual External Audit must be published along with the Accounts. The Agenda for each meeting must be published at least three days prior to the meeting and draft Minutes must be published within 28 days of the meeting, with Approved Minutes also being published.