What does West Itchenor Parish Council do?
The Parish Council represents the people of West Itchenor at the lowest level of government. Parliament has given many powers to Parish Councils. These powers relate to issues such as grants, planning, provision of recreation facilities, community centres and public buildings, crime prevention, community transport, public toilets, tourism, allotments, footpaths, litter, open spaces and traffic calming.
The desire of government is to increase the powers of Parish Councils. Parish Councils also act to represent residents of the parish on issues such as the environment, transport and youth activities.
How does it do this?
The Parish Council appoints a Clerk who is responsible for the implementation of the Councils policy decisions, a wide range of administrative tasks and advising the Council on matters of law and procedure.
How are Parish Councils Funded?
The major income for most Parish Councils is a precept to be raised by the principle local authority as part of the Council tax. This is paid by residents of the Parish. Parish Councils may also receive other income such as grants and fees for letting buildings.
What do Parish Councillors do?
As a minimum they attend most of the Full Council meetings, held on the second Monday of every other month. There is also a Planning Committee that meets as required to consider response to planning applications. Working parties are sometimes arranged to work on projects that require more time than is usually available at meetings. A growing number of papers and reports are generated by various bodies that require reading and responding to as they may contain information or plans that may be positive/detrimental to the future best interests of the village and surrounding areas. Occasionally Councillors will be approached by villagers asking for help with their problems.
Who can become a Councillor?
Councillors must be 18 or over, a British Commonwealth or EU Member State citizen and to be a Parish Councillor for West Itchenor they must:
- be a local government elector in the Parish, or
- have owned or rented land in the Parish for the previous 12 months, or
- have lived or worked within 3 miles of the Parish for the previous 12 months, or
- have worked in the parish for the previous 12 months.
Interested in becoming a Councillor?
A full Council is elected every four years. The next elections will be held in May 2015. Occasionally a Councillor will resign mid-term and a casual vacancy arises which is often filled by co-option.If you are interested then come to a Council meeting and discover first hand what the Parish Council is doing.