Part 6 of our Easy Guide to the Parish Council
If you’ve followed Parts 1 to 5 of this series, you’ll have a better idea of how the Parish Council works and what happens to around £305,000 it spends every year. Perhaps you’d like to have a bigger say in areas that affect you – how can you do this?
1. Check the agendas – Printed online at www.RuddingtonParishCouncil.gov.uk you can view what the Council or one of its committees is talking about. You can even register with the Parish Council Office to have all agendas emailed to you – just email the Clerk on (office@RuddingtonParishCouncil.gov.uk). If there’s something on the agenda that you feel strongly about, you can go along to the meeting and have your say during the ‘adjournment’. You will be made most welcome and councillors are always pleased to hear residents’ views – whether it’s a planning application, a highways issue or even an item of special expenditure.
2. If there is something you are very concerned about and you feel that the Parish Council should be doing something, you can contact the Clerk to see whether it is appropriate to go on a future agenda. The Clerk might be able to deal with it personally, or maybe you need to be referred to another organisation – or maybe the issue really should be discussed by the Council or one of its committees.
3. Once a year, usually around April, the Parish Council holds the Annual Parish Meeting where it reports to electors on what it has done in the previous 12 months. You can get a copy of the report before the meeting and electors are encouraged to ask questions and have their queries answered. There is usually an informal ‘meet and greet’ afterwards so that you can speak to your ward councillor less formally.
4. The Parish Council surgery is held ten months of the year (not August or December) on the second Saturday of the month, 10 am to 12 noon at St Peter’s Rooms. Here you can speak to your Parish Councillor (also your Borough and County Councillor) about issues which affect you.
5. The Parish Council Office is open from 9.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday. The Clerk, Deputy Clerk and Clerical Assistant are there to help if they can.
6. Keep your eyes open for a ‘Casual Vacancy’ – if you see a vacancy for a Parish Councillor and think you might be interested just contact the Clerk for more information. You might want to speak to another councillor first to get an inside view and again, the Clerk can put you in touch with someone.
For more information call in to the office, or you can email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
By Linda Cooke