Parish Council powers are greater than you think

Contributed by admin on May 29, 2004 - 06:57 PM


<FONT face="" color=black>Dear Ed

<FONT face="" color=black>The powers of the town and parish council are greater than many people realise.

<FONT face="" color=black>To many the bottom tier of local government appears pointless and powerless but this, in some instances, can be far from the truth.

<FONT face="" color=black>In reality there are numerous powers and duties that a town and parish council can exercise in its own right without going cap in hand to a district or county council.

<FONT face="" color=black>Whether a town or parish council chooses to exercise these powers boils down to:-

<FONT face="" color=black>1 the knowledge of having the powers
2 the political will
3 insuring adequate funds for these powers

<FONT color=black>Examples of these powers could be:-

<FONT face="" color=black>1 footway lighting
2 litter picking and waste bin emptying
3 car parking
4 maintenance of recreation grounds and sports facilities
5 maintenance of churchyards
6 beach cleaning
7 public toilet maintenance
8 maintenance of grass verges

<FONT face="" color=black>In the past in this district, Shepway District Council has previously recognised the ability of the smaller authorities to deliver a faster and more cost effective service o­n some of these facilities, than they could deliver.

<FONT face="" color=black>That is why, nearly 30 years ago, the 'Concurrent Services Grant' was introduced.

<FONT face="" color=black>What I find extraordinary with many town and parish councils, and that includes Hawkinge, is their bemoaning of the lack of support from a district council, when in reality they have the power to fix the problem themselves.

<FONT face="" color=black>Yours

<FONT face="" color=black>Colin Tearle
Vice Chairman
Swingfield Parish Council