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 7.00 pm - normally in Tockwith Village Hall.