The Parish Council plays an important role as the grassroots level of Local Government, directly representing and promoting the interests of its community. In addition to the Councillors, who are your unpaid representatives, the Parish Council employs a Clerk to carry out its business and ensure the many statutory requirements on the Parish Council are met. The Clerk manages the Council business such as financial matters, employee supervision, minutes, meeting arrangements, paperwork, agendas, noticeboards etc.
An election is held every four years and qualified persons nominate themselves for office. If an election is held, the council will be voted in to serve the electorate of that parish. If during the four year period there is a vacancy, due to a resignation or other reason, the position is advertised. Should no-one come forward for election, the Parish Council is permitted to co-opt someone to fill the vacancy.
Funding for Council activities is by precept, levied on Preston City Council which is then collected from households within the village through Council Tax.
The Parish Council is non-political. It is solely involved in issues, items and developments for the village's benefit and assistance. Decisions are decided by vote. Each Councillor has one vote with the Chairman of the Council also having a casting vote if that is required.
It is consulted by Preston City Council on planning applications in the village. It receives copies of plans and drawings and is allowed to represent the views of local residents but must make its recommendations based on planning laws alone.
The Parish Council can refer matters they consider require action - such as issues concerning the local environment, highways, refuse collections and policing - to Preston City Council or to Lancashire County Council for their attention. The Parish Council does not have any powers in its own right, but acts as a “Pressure Group” to try to get things done!
The Council deals with local people and local matters on a day to day basis and welcomes help and interest. One way to get involved in local community matters is to stand for election to the council. Attendance by the public at Council Meetings is also welcomed.
A useful general guide to Parish Councils can be downloaded here (pdf file).
For anyone more interested in the details of the role of the Parish Councillor, there us a useful document "The Good Councillor's Guide", download pdf here.
Grimsargh has had its own Parish Council since 1894 when there was a major reform of local government. The old Parish meeting minute book, which was completed in 1989, is now kept in the County Records Office as a record of all meetings of the Parish since that time.
Policies and Procedures
The Parish Council have a number of Procedures and Policies - the following links will download them as pdf files:
- Standing Orders
- Financial Regulations
- The Role of Working Groups
- Code of Conduct
- Freedom of Information
Each Parish Councillor's Register of Interests can be found via their "bio" page under Contact Us - Your Parish Councillors