The Parish Council is the lowest tier of Local Government, whose duties are discharged via Somerset County Council and West Somerset Council. The parish council is governed and must comply with a set of procedures including a Code of Conduct, Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.
It has 10 Parish Councillors (voluntary positions) who serve the community for a period of four years until the following election (next election will be May 2023). The parish council is served by an appointed Parish Clerk/Responsible Officer (paid position). The parish council meets each month on the second Tuesday, and other ad hoc meetings as required. Members of the public are eligible and welcome to attend all parish council meetings, unless there are confidential matters such as discussing tenders, when they would be asked to leave the room temporarily. A public forum takes place before each meeting where members of the public are welcome to comment on any item on the agenda.
Each year the parish council submits a request to West Somerset Council for a budget (Precept) in order to discharge its duties and responsibilities. The Precept (for FY 2019/2020) stands at £25,250.
The parish council has many wide ranging duties – which as more and more areas are devolved under the Localism Act, appear to be increasing year on year!. These include:
- Enhancements (eg St Andrew’s Well, planters on the Gravel, Bus shelters)
- Public Rights of Way
- Litter and Dog Bins
- Closed Churchyard Maintenance
- Planning Observations
- Statutory Obligations (Annual Audit, Insurance, Annual Accounts)
- Allocation of Financial Grants to groups and organisations in the parish
- Burgage Rd Play Area
- Welcome Packs
- Village Grounds and Maintenance
- Representation at Meetings (Main Site Neighbourhood Forum, Community Forum, Transport Forum, Parochial Church Council, School liaison etc)
- Highways issues
- Street Lighting
- Hinkley C Community Impact Mitigation Fund
A more detailed account of the above can be found in the Chairman’s Report :