Parish Council Responsibilities
What it is, what it isn’t, and what it can and cannot do . . .
What is it?
Your elected Council is the first tier of local government. It is a corporate body with a legal existence of its own quite separate from that of its members. Its decisions are the responsibility of the Council as a whole, and it has been granted powers by Parliament, including the authority to raise money through the precept (part of the Council Tax).
The Council has legally defined powers to take action, but in practice its primary responsibility is to represent the interests of residents and to make recommendations to decision-making bodies, particularly Cheshire East Council, but also many government departments and agencies who impact on our daily lives. The Parish Council can and does influence decision makers.
What does it do?
Although we are a small parish with limited budget and facilities, the Council is consulted upon or responsible for responding to a wide range of issues which concern you as a resident, including planning, highways and traffic, community safety, environmental proposals and developments, airport matters, footpaths, bridle ways and rights of way, trees, hedgerows, etc. . . and much else. With your support, your Council can and does make a difference.
Who are your councillors?
Suitably qualified persons become members of the Council on election by residents on the electoral roll. Elections are normally called, by statute, every fourth year. Casual vacancies can be filled by co-option if there are no contesting candidates. The parish is required to bear the cost of elections.
Council meetings are summoned six times a year with occasional exceptional extra meetings. The date and agenda of meetings is posted on the Council Notice Board at the Toll Bar Crossroads, opposite the former school on School Lane and in the Hall at Marthall car park. All residents are entitled and welcome to attend council meetings, and may speak if invited to do so by the Chairman.
A Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected annually at the Annual Parish Meeting usually in May and each councillor is elected by members to serve on sub-committees and/or take lead responsibility for one or more areas of interest. A full list of councillors and their responsibilities is posted on the notice boards and on the website here.
If you wish to discuss anything please telephone your nearest councillor or the one designated to deal with the subject which interests you. Alternatively, you can contact the Clerk to the Council (who is the Council’s Proper Officer).
What isn’t it?
Whilst we know we exercise influence, we do not have the final say in some matters such as planning, for example, where the ultimate ruling can go right up to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister! Your parish council will represent you to the best of its ability - it is neither political nor sectarian. It is not, as has been mistakenly thought on occasion, the same as the ecclesiastical body elected by members of All Saints’ Church which is properly known as the Parochial Church Council.