S0 what does your Parish Council do ?
So much bureaucracy, so much Council Tax - so what does the Parish Council do ?
It is probably important to start by saying that unlike MP's or County and District Councillors, Parish Councillors are not paid anything for the work we do or the time we spend on Parish Council business. Parish Councillors do not receive any allowances, and only get paid for things like postage stamps we use, (if we choose to claim for them). When we attend planning meetings with the District Council or public enquiries, we have to do it in our own time.
The Parish Council are given the opportunity to comment on Planning applications by Harrogate District Council, however have no involvement with the decision making process.
The Parish Council also manages a certain amount of public land around the villages, arranging for public liability insurance and grass-cutting etc. as well as providing and managing allotments at Church Row and the Bridle Path.
Where new developments take place, frequently sums of money are paid over by developers under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act in compensation for having not provided recreational space for the new house-owners. These section 106 payments come to the Parish Council to manage the provision of public open space and recreation facilities. The Parish Council also provided additional space for the existing cemetery, and paid for initial landscaping work on it as well as contributing towards the repair of the churchyard wall.
Some time ago we took over a new open area called Westfield Green which we were successful in securing a planting scheme which reflected the wishes of local people.
The Parish Council is the Custodian Trustee for the Sports Field and owns the Village Hall, managing them in co-operation with groups who use it.
We are able, subject to certain legal limits, to make grants to support local community groups. In the recent past we have made grants to Tockwith Parish Church and Methodist Church, the Tockwith Show, and the Village Hall Committee. We also make a grant towards the maintenance of the graveyard of St.Michael's Church in Cowthorpe.
Parish Council meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7.30 pm - normally in the Church of the Epiphany, Tockwith.
Below is a list of Parish Council Powers it is by no means and exhaustive list but gives you an indication of the types of issues and matters your local Parish Council can be involved in.
| FUNCTION || POWERS & DUTIES|| STATUTORY PROVISIONS|
| Allotments || Duty to provide allotments. Power to improve and adapt land for allotments, and to let grazing rights. ||Small Holding & Allotments Act 1908, ss 23, 26 and 42.|
| Baths & Washhouses|| Power to provide public baths and washhouses.|| Public Health Act 1936, ss 221, 222, 223 and 227.|
| Burial grounds, cemeteries and cematoria||Power to acquire and maintain. Power to provide. Power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials. Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries. || Open Spaces Act 1906, ss9 and 10; Local Government Act 1972, s 214; Parish Councils and Burial Authorities Act 1970, s1. Local government Act 1972 s.214(6).|
| Bus shelters || Power to provide and maintain shelters.|| Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1953, s4|
| Bye-laws|| Power to make bye-laws in regard to pleasure grounds, cycle parks, baths and washhouses, open spaces and burial grounds, mortuaries and post-mortem rooms.||Public Health Act 1875, s 164; Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s57(7); Public Health Act 1936, s 223; Open Spaces Act 1906, s.15; Public Health Act 1936,s.198|
| Clocks|| Power to provide public clocks.|| Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2.|
| Closed Churchyards|| Powers as to maintenance.|| Local Government Act 1972,s.125.|
|Common pastures|| Powers in relation to providing common pasture.|| Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908,s.34|
|Conference Facilities || Power to provide and encourage use of facilities|| Local Government Act 1972, s.144.|
|Community Centres|| Power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or recreational objectives.|| Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19|
| Crime Prevention || Powers to install and maintain equipment and establish and maintain a scheme for detection or prevention of crime. Power to contribute to police services e.g. PCSOs duty on parish Councils to consider crime reduction in every policy and action.|| s17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended) |
| Drainage || Power to deal with ponds and ditches.|| Public Health Act 1936, s.260.|
| Dogs|| Power to make a dog control order. Power to take enforcement against those who commit an offense against a dog control order.|| Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005|
| Entertainment and the Arts.|| Provision of entertainment and support of the arts.|| Local Government Act 1972, s.145.|
| Flyposting and Graffiti.|| Power to take enforcement action against those who flypost or graffiti.|| Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005|
| Gifts|| Power to accept|| Local Government Act 1972, s.139|
| Highways|| || |
The Parish Council is insured by
Zurich Insurance plc, Zurich House, 2 Gladiator Way, Farnborough, England, GU14 6GB