A Village Community
Parish Councils are set up by Act of Parliament as the first tier of local Government. We do not work for either District or County Councils and do not (and cannot) compete with them for any of the services they already offer.
There is very little that Parish Councils must do (by law). We must consider
Providing allotments if at least six electors want them
The impact of our decisions on reducing crime and disorder in our area
Adopting a churchyard when it is closed, if asked for by the Parochial Church Council.
There are many other things we can do, as given in specific Powers through Acts of Parliament. We also have a general power to do anything for the benefit of our community not covered by these rights (with limits on the amount we can spend and provided the benefit justifies the cost).
So what does the council actually do? There are three main headings.
We have a legal right to see copies of planning applications and to express our views. We do not make decisions on planning, this is done by the District Council through it's planning committee and officers. Any comment we do make will have no impact unless it is a material consideration, in other words it relates to the legal framework for planning and the Local Development Framework. We may not like a development but can have no influence unless our objection meets the rules.
The Parish has many things that continue every year, we review the spend on these and ensure that we want to carry on doing these things. In Bramford we prefer to operate such things as the Playing Fields and Loraine Victory Hall as separate trusts, they work better like this and we grant-aid the groups which run these trusts. Other services like street lighting and general maintenance we try to operate at the best cost to the Parish.
Anyone can suggest new things the Parish Council might do (contact the Parish Clerk or any Councillor). Before it can be discussed it must be added to the agenda of a Parish Council meeting, which gives everyone the chance to make their opinions known before the meeting. For example, local youths supported by parents and the local Police asked us to consider making a cycle track. We worked with the Playing Fields committee and made a contribution towards building the new cycle track in the playing fields, it encourages our young people to feel some pride and responsibility for the facilities here and gives them something exciting to do.