I am a parish councillor. The lowest level of local government. The NIMBY committee, the dog poo committee, the grumpy old git committee. Call it what you like, but I love this layer of local government.
I am the leader of Awsworth Parish Council. The Parish Mayor, Madam Chairman. I chair our monthly meetings and deal with issues between meetings with the clerk of the council. Oh and I get a chain of office too…
But what does a parish council do?
Well, it varies a great deal. My council looks after leases to a football club, a youth club and a bowls club, two recreation grounds, a cricket wicket, play equipment and the villiage in bloom displays. The neighbouring council has….. a bench.
My council also has a view on planning applications, such as extensions to properites, access points and new houses and structures. We then post our recommendations to the borough/county councils.
Sometimes they listen to us, and sometimes they don’t. But we give the view of the residents of the village, and it’s important that local residents get their voice heard on issues that effect their area.
As well as recreation and planning, we also have responsibilities, for health and safety and finance. We need to ensure that all our equipment is compliant with health and safety regulations. We also set our own tax for the local community, or precept as it is known. Our £54K precept works out at £1 per household per week, which pays for our council services.
Some people may think we are pointless, but I think we provide a vital service to our local communities, because we are our local communities.