Hindolveston Parish Council is your local authority and is a legal entity in its own right but it is made up of councillors. It does have specific statutory duties and quite a variety of powers. Unlike other types of local authorities, there are relatively few statutory functions imposed upon it but these are important and relate to, for example, the holding of meetings, the management of its finances and the preparation of annual accounts.
If you ever wondered what the purpose of a parish council is, it can be best summarised as to make the local area a better place to live. The Council does get involved in a broad range of projects and activities to deliver more services and play a greater part in supporting the Hindolveston community. It should be emphasised that the council is made of local volunteers, that give freely of their time, for the benefit of the community.
It is the people elected as councillors who collectively make the most important decisions that impact the parishioners. For example, councillors set the council tax level. The Parish Council employs one member of staff, owns the Parish Clerk, manages premises, enters into contracts, and provides services. Like other types of local authorities, it has obligations to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010.
The Parish Council operates much like any other local authority in that most decisions about what the council does are taken during meetings by councillors. Some of the work of the council can be delegated to a smaller group of councillors (i.e. a committee or subcommittee). Although the public has a right to attend meetings of a council and its committees, it is the councillors who collectively make decisions about council business and what services or facilities it provides.
The Parish Council also adheres to the Department for Communities and Local Government Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities issued in Dec 2014 which came into effect Apr 2015. This Code was issued to meet the Government’s desire to place more power into citizens’ hands to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to contribute to the local decision making process and help shape public services. Transparency is the foundation of local accountability and the key that gives people the tools and information they need to enable them to play a bigger role in society.
In the case of Hindolveston, the Parish Council meets in the Millennium Pavilion at 7.30 pm every third Thursday of the month except in August and December. Members of the public and press are always welcome and time is set aside in the meeting to allow external input, not just from the public but also the local District Councillor, County Councillor and the local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) if they are able to attend. Meetings are conducted in accordance with the Hindolveston Parish Council Standing Orders that were adopted on 18th June 2015.
The list of meeting dates for 2017 is found here.