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Parish Council

What is a Parish Council?
A Parish Council is the lowest tier of local government. The Council consists of nine voluntary Councillors who are elected for a four year term of office to serve and administer for the needs of the residents of the parish of Kington St Michael. In the event of a vacancy arising, a new member is either elected or co-opted until the next election. The Parish councillors determine and set policy to cater for the social, cultural, welfare and environmental needs of parishioners and employ a part time Clerk to the Council to implement policy decisions.

All Councillors adhere to the Parish Council Code of Conduct and complete a Register of Interests. From time to time the Council has Committees to concentrate on particular aspects of its work. It should be noted that, where necessary, the Council co–opts non Councillors onto particular Committees. This has proved particularly beneficial in the past, bringing the talents of local residents to bear on specific issues. 

What does the Parish Council do?
Whilst the Council has little in the way of direct power, it has a reasonable amount of influence and is consulted by other tiers of local government and national government on a wide range of issues. A good example of this is in relation to planning, where the responsible authority is Wiltshire Council. All details of every planning application within the Parish are given to the Parish Council for review, and comments are taken into account when decisions are reached.

Another example is Wiltshire Council, which is the Highway Authority, but which consults with the parish over any road scheme or traffic calming measure.

The Parish council is directly responsible for providing the following services to the Village:

  • The Recreation Field, including all the play equipment
  • Upkeep of the pond area in Stubbs Lane
  • Upkeep of The Pound
  • The bus shelter at The Ridings as well as public seats around the village
  • Comment on all planning applications
  • Promotion of village projects
  • Support of Parish organisations through grants

How is the Parish Council paid for?
Every year the Council sets its budget, and the amount it requires to operate that budget is known as the Parish Precept. This amount is collected by Wiltshire Council from the Council Tax paid by residents of the parish.

Audited accounts are produced each year and as part of the audit system the accounts are available for public inspection. Details of the inspection system are posted at the appropriate time on the Parish Council’s notice board by the telephone box.

How to Become a Parish Councillor
Parish Councillors may be either elected or co-opted.  Elections are held every four years or to fill an advertised vacancy if ten or more members of the electorate so request.  Otherwise new councillors are co-opted, having expressed an interest and having satisfied the eligibility conditions in the questionnaire set out below.

 

Eligibility for Office as a Parish Councillor

Yes

No

1.

Are you over 18 years?

 

 

2.

Are you a British Citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland?

 

 

3.

Will you:

a) be a local government elector for the area of the authority on the day of co-option and thereafter, or

b) have during the whole of the 12 months preceding the day of co-option occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the area, or

c) have had his/her principal or only place of work in the area during the whole of the 12 months preceding the day of co-option, or

d) have resided in the area for the whole of the preceding 12 months, or

e) have resided in the parish or within 3 miles of it for the whole of the 12 months prior to co-option?

 

 

4.

Have you held any paid office or employment under this authority?

 

 

5.

Have you been a person adjudged bankrupt?

 

 

6.

Have you been a person who within five years before the day of co-option has been convicted of any offence and has had passed on him/her a sentence of imprisonment for a period of not less than 3 months (whether suspended or not) without option of a fine?

 

 

On receipt of completed questionnaires to the Parish Clerk, candidates are invited to a full and open council meeting to be interviewed.  Following this a candidate may be chosen and a formal resolution to co-opt may be tabled.  When formally co-opted, the new member will sign the Declaration of Acceptance and the Declaration of Interests, agreeing to abide by the Code of Conduct which applies to everyone serving on parish councils.