Shipton Moyne Parish Council
What Does The Parish Council Do?
The Parish Council is the smallest unit of local government and comprises the Civil Parish, in this case Shipton Moyne, and represents the community in its dealings with Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council. It has five members, elected every four years at the same time as the District and County Council elections. It also employs the invaluable help of a professional Secretary who guides and assists the Councillors especially at meetings but also in their work throughout the year. All meetings are public and advertised in advance.
Parish councils are responsible for managing their own budgets. They are financed through the “precept”, an amount of money calculated as an estimate for the coming financial year and collected as part of your Council Tax. This money is used to improve facilities and services for local people. Parish councils have a variety of responsibilities, all of which impact directly on the community, and the main ones for rural councils are as follows.
While the County Council is responsible for the maintenance of roads and filling pot-holes, the Parish Council is responsible for reporting these, and for street lighting and parking places, and has the right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening. The consent of the Parish Council is also required for the diversion or discontinuation of highways, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance. The Council is also responsible for preserving rights of way and footpaths such as the Palladian Way, and we now have a footpath warden to enforce the bye-laws. Parish Councils support public buildings, which in our case is the Village Hall by paying their insurance to help enable the hall to keep open. Public cemeteries are also within its remit, and our Council makes an annual donation to St John’s Church for the maintenance of the churchyard, and even arranged the refurbishment of the Phone Box.
Where there is a bus service the Council could provide a shelter, and is also empowered to provide a public lavatory if the community wanted one. The prevention of littering is another of the Council’s responsibilities, including the provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns. Planning applications are a regular item of our work, and Parish Councils are notified of any planning applications for the area so that they can comment on them to the District Council. The maintenance of recreation grounds, playing fields, and play areas is also another important function of the Parish Council, and Shipton Moyne is very fortunate to be well provided for in these respects. The Council could also acquire land for community purposes, such as an allotment. It is also allowed to make a financial contributions to any local organisations for the promotion of tourism. More generally, and beyond these specific responsibilities, Parish Councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they consider of benefit to the community.