What is a Parish Council?
Parish Councils are the third tier of local government. Staffordshire County Council and the District/Borough Councils are the other two tiers.
The County Council is responsible for strategic services such as highways, education, libraries, social services, strategic planning and refuse disposal.
District Councils are responsible for local services including housing, local planning, environmental health and refuse collection.
Parish Councils or Town Councils in the county are often viewed as the part of government closest to the people.
As a team they listen to your views and those of their fellow Councillors, getting broad agreement on the best way forward and taking joint responsibility for their decisions. You have the right to expect that the Councillors will aim for the highest and best for its residents in all they do.
The role of the Clerk or Administrator is to administer the Council’s business and advise the Council on any work it wants to undertake. A competent clerk is the linchpin of a good council.
The Clerk is often the first point of contact for the Council. You can expect a courteous, timely and friendly response. Your Administrator is Lesley Hough, she has worked in Local Government for 18 years.
Should my Council expect anything from me?
Local democracy is a two way affair. Penkridge Parish Council hopes you take an interest and ask questions about the things that matter most to you.
You are encouraged to attend council meetings; the agenda always includes a ‘public participation’ section. This is where you can raise the issues that concern you as an individual or as a group.
We welcome your contribution as an individual or community group. Often being active in a local group is a good way of gaining confidence to put views forward.
If you like being involved why not consider being an elected Councillor? Come and join us.
Parish elections are scheduled every 4 years and in between the elections there may be elections and/or co-options to fill casual vacancies.
How are Parish Councils funded?
Parish Councils can “precept” – raising money via the council tax each year. This money is used to improve facilities and services for local people.
Their powers and duties cover many things that we take for granted where we live. They include the provision and maintenance of allotments, burial grounds and public monuments, public clocks, halls, some street lighting, litter bins, car parks, public lavatories, rights of way, roadside verges, bus shelters, swimming pools and village greens.
Parish Councils also comment on planning applications and can be represented at public inquiries.
They advise the County and District authorities on the views of residents, their needs and aspirations.
All Parish Council meetings are open to the public. They are led by the Chairman of the Council who is advised by the clerk or administrator. He/she is there to see that business is conducted within the law.
Councillors are elected to serve for four years; you have 15 councillors representing Penkridge, divided into 5 wards. A full list of the councillors and their contact details are displayed on the website or is available at the Haling Dene Centre. Penkridge Parish Council makes a difference by making your views known to other bodies and councils for example when being consulted about planning issues or changes in services.
Why not get involved?
Most people care about where they live, the quality of the local environment and the small things that we take for granted but are important for a balanced, high quality lifestyle, making Penkridge a nice place to live and work.
Getting involved helps your local council to know what you feel and need.
What can I expect from the council?
Your Council is a group of 15 people, elected by you and by working together, make decisions and plans for the greater community benefit in Penkridge.
How much time will it take?
All Councils must meet at least 4 times per year. Penkridge Council meet 11 times per year, on the second Thursday of each month. No meetings are held in August.
They also hold additional meetings for the Recreation and Amenities Committee and the Haling Dene Committee which meet quarterly.
What services do we provide?
We own and administer the Haling Dene Centre which is used by numerous groups/organisations for their meetings. The venue can be hired and is licensed for weddings, parties etc as well as it is the base for the Parish Council offices.
The Parish Council provides and maintains various facilities/activities throughout the village, namely:-
- Burial Ground
- Public Toilets
- Open Spaces
- Christmas Lighting
- Plant and Maintain the Village Islands
- Festival Gardens
- Planting throughout the village
- Bus Shelters
- Sponsor Summer SUSSED scheme
- Hold various village competitions
- Band Concerts
- Children’s Pantomine