What Does the Parish Council Do?
The Duties and Responsibilities of the Titchmarsh Parish Council
The parish council carries out a full range of duties for the benefit of the parishioners and they meet once a month to administer parish business All parish councillors volunteer their time, the only paid employee is our Clerk, who sets our agendas, takes the minutes of our meetings and implements the action points, and generally ensures that we operate within the law. Members of the public are encouraged to attend our meetings and have an opportunity to speak to the councillors at Public Open time at the start of each meeting.
The parish council is funded by a precept which is collected from village council tax payers by East Northants District Council.
The parish council are elected to represent the views of its parishioners.
What the parish council does is separated into two sections, compulsory and optional.
The PC manages the precept as referred to above. They have to produce a budget and report against this on a quarterly basis. There are very rigorous rules governing the financial arrangements of Parish Councils which are overseen by the Responsible Finance Officer and the Internal Scrutineer.
The council is included in the consultation process for planning applications relating to the Parish. Comments made by the Parish Council are considered by the Planning Authority in arriving at a decision. The final decision is that of the Planning authority.
The PC carries the 3rd party liability insurance for all the public areas of the village. It also insures the pavilion building.
The PC is responsible for formulating a Parish Plan and keeping it updated.
The Parish Council subscribe to the Highway Wardens voluntary initiative by nominating an individual to liaise with the County Council on all matters relating to the condition of the Roads, Paths, Signage, Road Markings and Surface water drainage within the Parish. The Highway Warden reports into and is guided by the Parish Council.
The PC has chosen to manage and maintain its own street lighting. This means that our street lighting is never affected by any cuts in County Council spending.
Pavilion and Playing fields.
The PC holds the 25 year lease for the playing fields and the pavilion from the Merchant Venturers. Up until recently, a separate Playing Fields Association managed these facilities on behalf of the Parish Council.
There are two allotments sites – one off Toft’s Close and the other in Islington. The PC is responsible for the admin side of running the allotments, including collecting rent. A formal 25 year lease is currently being negotiated with the Merchant Venturers.
The PC carries out regular inspections of the allotments.
Village Shop and Pound
The parish council owns the old Engine House which it leased to the village shop for 10 years from 2007. The Pound Garden belongs to the Parish Council but the shop is allowed to use it under the terms of their lease.
The PC is responsible for arranging quotes for the grass cutting of all the public areas in the village and putting a contractor in place.
The PC is responsible for the village website which is run by an administrator. A representative of the parish council liaises with the administrator and has responsibility for posting parish council news, minutes etc on the website.
The Parish Council owns the TT and has overall responsibility for the bi-monthly newsletter. A volunteer production manager is responsible for collation, layout printing and circulation
How the village looks
The PC owns the village sign, noticeboards, benches, dog bins etc and is responsible for their upkeep and safety. They also plant the daffodils which make the village look so attractive in the Spring. Not least they organise, put up and decorate the Christmas tree and lead the carol singing on Christmas Eve.