What is the Parish Council all about?  Who can become a Councillor?  What can the Council do?  What it can't do.......
What is a parish council?

A Parish Council is the first tier of local government in England and Wales and, as such, closest to the people. It serves the smallest area and is responsible for the most local of matters. It is an elected unit of local government whose activities are controlled by Acts of Parliament.

It has nothing to do with the church, despite its name. The council has few powers but a little influence. An example of this is planning applications.  The ultimate decision about a planning application is made by the District Council, (either by the employees in the planning department or in some cases by the elected members in committee) but they give details of every planning application within the parish to the Parish Council for review and will take into account the councillors' comments when coming to a decision.

What are the Council's responsibilities?

Parish, town and community councils in England and Wales have a number of basic responsibilities, including: representing the whole electorate within the parish; delivering services to meet local needs; and striving to improve quality of life in the parish.

In Nassington, it is responsible for providing a range of community services:
  • Street lighting
  • Allotments 
  • Cemetery (in conjunction with Yarwell) 
  • Playing field & pavilion
  • Play equipment
  • Most seating and shelters
  • Some footpaths and Rights of Way

The council is often the first point of contact for aspiring local projects. It is its responsibility to help get schemes underway by providing initial funding and space for public use, for example, perhaps a youth club or the plans for the new community pavilion at the playing field

This PAGE details the powers and duties of a Parish Council

Parish Councillors

The Parish Council is an effective way to get involved in community life. It deals with local people and local matters on a day to day basis and welcomes help and interest. There is a strict code of conduct, so you are not able to join the Parish Council to promote a specific cause or alter the course of a particular matter - it is specifically forbidden to do so and you are generally not allowed to join in discussions or vote on matters which affect anything in which you are involved.

Parish councillors are elected by the public and serve four-year terms. Following elections, councils appoint a chair. 

Parish council seats were unpaid positions until 2004 when allowance schemes were introduced.  In Nassington, however, the council has  maintained a strictly unpaid status, and councillors stand for the benefit of the parish or town, not for any financial reason. (The chair receives an annual allowance of £100 - the amount was agreed before 1998 and has not risen since). 

To be a parish councillor requires time and commitment. A councillor will usually spend an hour or so a week on parish business and this will increase if they are a member of a permanent or short-term committee. Most councillors serve on at least one committee.

In the case of the chair and vice chair, a good few hours a week is generally spent on Parish Council matters.

If you would like to contact a Parish Councillor over any matter pertaining to the village, click HERE to go to the directory of councillors and click on the name of a councillor, or the clerk if it is a general matter to be put before the Council as a whole.