Brinkworth Parish Council represents and serves the whole community and is responsible for the services it provides. It establishes policies for action and decides how the precept monies will be spent on behalf of the community and consequently it is responsible for spending public money lawfully and achieving the best value for money. Except in certain circumstances (Public Bodies-Admission to Meetings-Act 1960) Council meetings are open to the public.
As a Statutory Local Authority the Parish Council has the powers to provide many services and facilities. The Parish Council may not take a decision that involves spending money unless the matter is included on the agenda for a Parish Council Meeting. However, the Clerk can pay bills that have a pay by date e.g., water and electric bills. It must make decisions in an open, accountable and transparent way and its accounts are subject to internal and external audit. The Parish Council is required to set an Annual Budget or Parish Precept to fund the work it undertakes in the community. The Parish Council has the statutory right to be consulted on local planning applications. It is also consulted on occasion by upper tiers of government thereby providing input to decision making.
The function of the Parish Council is generally to provide, improve and maintain Parish facilities and also to represent its Parishioners on wider Local Government issues. It has a number of responsibilities and can become involved in additional matters should it decide to do so in the best interests of the local community. Such matters might include the following:
- Consultation on planning applications
- Campaigning for better services
- Grass cutting to open spaces
- Consultation over traffic signing, speed limits and other related matters
- Consultation over street naming
- Parish facilities such as bus shelters, seats, notice boards
- Maintenance of the churchyard and cemetery
- Cemetery management
- Provision and maintenance of Recreation Ground and play equipment
- Provision and maintenance of trees and hedges
- Maintenance of footpaths
Brinkworth Parish Council is funded through a Parish Precept. This is a local Parish charge collected by the North Wiltshire District Council through your Council Tax Payment. The level of the charge is discussed and decided on an annual basis by the Parish Council usually during their December meeting.
Every Councillor is required to complete a Declaration of Acceptance of Office and to provide an undertaking that they accept the Council’s Code of Conduct. Individual Councillors work together to serve the community and to help the Council to make decisions on behalf of the local community. Councillors contribute to the work of the Council by suggesting ideas, engaging in constructive debate, attending external meetings and by responding to the needs and views of the community and representing their constituents. Councillors comment on proposals to ensure the best outcome and vote to enable the Council to make decisions. They must accept the decisions of the Council as a whole even though they do/may not agree with it. Councillors are required to behave in an ethical way and to declare an interest when appropriate. When discussing matters such as Planning the Parish Councillors role is to act in the best interest of the village in an advisory capacity, ultimately it is Wiltshire Council who must make the final decision.
The Parish Council is made up of eleven volunteers who live within the parish. Anyone who fulfils the criteria is very welcome to apply should a vacancy arise. This application should be made through Wiltshire Council however, any interest can be expressed through the Parish Clerk.