Parish councils were established in 1894 to take on the duties formally administered by church wardens and overseers of the poor. They are the lowest tier of government and deal with village community matters.
What do they do?
Parish councils have a wide range of powers given them through legislation. They have tax-raising powers (known as the ‘precept’); they can make bye-laws in specific areas; they can provide amenities and facilities such as village halls, parks, playing fields, allotments, bus shelters, parking, litter bins, grit bins, traffic signs, public baths and public clocks!
What is the South Heighton precept spent on?
The money is routinely spent on the maintenance of The Hollow playing field and play area (on lease from Glynde estates), the Village Green (which the parish council owns), street lighting, its four notice boards, limited subscriptions and donations to local organisations and causes, the council’s bi-annual newsletter, insurance, auditing and employment of a part-time clerk/responsible finance officer. The council has also set aside money and is leading on obtaining additional funding to improve facilities at The Hollow and Village Green.
Who runs the parish council
South Heighton parish council is run by seven elected/co-opted parish councillors. Parish councillors are elected every four years, co-option is made when a vacancy occurs and a full election is not required. At the Annual Council meeting a chairman is appointed as well as a Vice Chair. A clerk/responsible financial officer, who receives remuneration, is responsible for the organisation of the council including dealing with correspondence, financial matters, and preparing the agenda for meetings and the completion of meeting minutes.
How does the council do its business
The council usually meets approximately every five weeks on a Tuesday evening starting at 7.30 in the South Heighton Village Hall, where parishioner’s questions are heard, petitions accepted and items on the agenda are discussed and resolved. Councillors also do other tasks outside of this such as talking to local government officials, dealing with complaints, representing the council at other meetings, and chasing up our proposals and resolutions. South Heighton Parish Council is currently working on two projects, The Hollow and the Village Green. The council welcomes members of the public to join working group’s to progress projects.
The council encourages parishioners to keep an eye on the parish and inform the council of any issues or concerns, but it also helps the council if parishioners can deal with small problems themselves by contacting the bodies responsible, but if in doubt parishioners are welcome to contact a Councillor or the Parish Clerk.
Can the public attend meetings?
Yes. The public are very welcome to sit in on meetings. In fact we encourage members of the public/parishioners to attend so that they are fully informed about what is happening in their parish. The public role is to observe only, but the agenda always allows a set period of time for members of the public to speak at the meeting (usually at the start of the meeting). This opportunity can be used to express views, make comments and present petitions. The council may ask a member of the public at the discretion of the Chairman, during a motion to express an opinion on matters where the member of the public has a particular interest or knowledge.
How can you find out more about what the Parish Council does?
Attend the Parish Council meetings, take time to view meeting agendas and reports, keep an eye on information in our notice boards, read the minutes and newsletters available on this website or on one of the noticeboards. Contact the Parish Council using this website or via Facebook.