Waddesdon Parish Council is an elected body of 9 elected Councillors, who have statutory responsibilities for certain aspects of the village. Historically one of the few mandatory, key responsibilities of The Parish Council is the provision, allocation and management of allotments. Other responsibilities consist of maintenance of land owned by the Parish Council including public parks, open spaces and woodlands, hedge & grass cutting and litter bin emptying in these areas, emptying the dog waste collection bins, bus shelters, war memorial, street lights, street furniture, closed St Michael and all Angels Church Churchyard and maintaining the public notice boards.
Other key areas the Council is involved in are as a consultee to planning applications and acting as a community voice to the Unitary Council. Waddesdon Parish Councillors also sit on the committees of the Almshouses, along with various Beck & Fetto Trust and the William Turner Charity.
Full Council Meetings take place at 8:00 pm on the third Wednesday of each month in the Community Centre, Frederick Street and are open to the public. Full Council meetings usually last around 2 hours and can include reports from external bodies such as the Police.
20 minutes at the start of the meeting are available for the general public to raise any issues contained within the Agenda, which can be raised before the Council. Each member of the public may speak for a maximum of 3 minutes either by asking a question directed to the Chairman or by making a presentation.
The Finance Committee meets quarterly to ensure the budget is on track.
A monthly summary of expenditure is presented at all Full Council Meetings; and both annual external and internal audits are carried out.
The Council has a Planning Committee which will meet if an application needs a decision between full council meetings or there is an application which needs a longer debate.
Working Groups are set up to discuss various issues. Each group is formed from a composition of Councillors and other members of the public with specific interests or skills who have agreed to meet and discuss the relevant topics before reporting back to Full Council for ratification. They are an advisory/information collating team which does not have any decision making powers. We currently have an Events Working Group.
The Parish Council is a corporate body charged with the provision of the first tier of local government activities. Legally it is made up of three parts:
To ensure that the Parish Council runs smoothly it is essential that each party understands the roles and responsibilities of the others.
THE COUNCIL IS A CORPORATE BODY
The Parish Council is a single corporate body created by statute originating in the late 19th century to carry out a series of functions for its community:
It represents and serves the whole community.
It establishes policies for future action.
It decides how the money will be raised and spent on behalf of the local community.
It is responsible for spending public money.
It may not spend money on any item it is not legally empowered to do so.
In Buckinghamshire, there are two main tiers of local government, each serving a greater geographical area and a larger population.
- Parish Councils
- Bucks Unitary Council
The Parish Council is the statutory body closest to the local population and the decisions it takes are in response to the community as a whole. The Parish Council must take note of and balance the needs of the different elements of the community to get the best results. The Parish Council as a body can decide to join in partnerships with other organisations and can also agree to serve on other bodies.
The Clerk is employed by the Council to provide executive and administrative support and professional advice to the Council on its activities. The Clerk is not answerable to the individual councillors, or indeed to the Chairman. The Clerk is an independent and objective servant of the Council, recognises that the Council is responsible for all decisions, and takes instruction from the Council as a corporate body. In doing so the Clerk will not favour one Councillor, or group of Councillors, over another.
In law, the title of ‘Proper Officer’ is used and the Council must appoint the officers it needs to carry out its duties. For finance, the proper officer is known as the Responsible Finance Officer. In Waddesdon, the Clerk holds this role.
The Clerk’s workload includes a broad range of activities which are set out in the Clerk’s job description. It also includes research into specific topics on behalf of Councillors in order to give them unbiased information. The Clerk also advises the Council on:
- Whether proposed decisions are lawful.
- The way a decision is carried out.
- Performance and financial impact on budget objectives.
The Clerk must keep up to date with developments in law and regulation that may affect the Parish Council.
The Chairman of the Parish Council is a position of authority, responsible for ensuring that effective and lawful decisions are taken at Council meetings. The council must appoint a Chairman annually; the Chairman then signs a declaration of acceptance.
The Chairman works in partnership with the Clerk to ensure that the Council is properly informed for making lawful decisions during meetings. The Clerk is the legal signatory of the agenda with first say over its content. However, the Clerk will always consult with the Chairman on agenda content.
The Chairman manages Council meetings under the guidance provided by the Council’s Standing Orders. The Chairman’s role is to:
- Ensure that discussions are kept moving.
- Ensure that the meeting is not too lengthy.
- Ensure that all Councillors are involved in discussions.
- Ensure that Members keep to the business set out on the Agenda.
- Ensure that decisions are made.
The Chairman has the casting vote, a personal vote as an ordinary Councillor, and in a tied vote the Chairman uses his second vote as a casting vote in order to achieve a decision. The Chairman cannot make a formal decision on behalf of the Council, and sometimes the Clerk has to decide whether the Chairman’s advice is lawful.
COUNCILLORS AS INDIVIDUALS
The Councillors may only act as a group voting on issues together. It is unlawful for an individual Councillor to make decisions on behalf of the Council. Their role as the electors’ elected representatives is to:
- Suggest ideas.
- Engage in constructive debate.
- Comment on proposals to ensure the best outcome.
- Vote in Council to enable the Council to reach decisions.
In this key role of representing electors, they have a duty to respond to the needs and views of the community. A well run Parish Council will ensure that the decisions made by the Council, or its directives, are effectively carried out by the Clerk. They are also totally responsible as a group for ensuring that the financial operations of the council are in good order and that the correct financial processes are in place and being applied.
Importantly, they are legally required to conduct themselves ethically and to be open about their own interests. They are required to abide by the Code of Conduct, to register interests and to declare their interests on agenda items at meetings.
This Parish Council conducts some of its detailed business through two committees, Finance and Planning, which report back through to Full Council. The Council may occasionally appoint a Sub-Committee or a Working Group to look at a particular issue and report back either to the Full Council or to a formal committee.
Powers And Duties Of Parish Councils
|Functions||Powers And Duties||Statutory Powers|
|Agency Arrangements||Power to arrange for the discharge of functions by another local authority||Local Government Act 1972 s.101|
|Allotments||Powers to provide allotments Duty to provide allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied||Small Holdings Allotments Act 1908 ss 23, 26 and 42|
|Archives||Power to make records held available to the public and support local archives||Local Government (Records) Act 1962, ss1 and 4|
|Baths and Washhouses||Power to provide public baths and washhouses||Public Health Act 1936 ss 221, 222,223 and 227|
|Borrowing||Power to borrow money for statutory functions||Local Government Act 1972 Sch. 13|
|Burial Grounds, Cemeteries and crematoria*||Power to acquire and maintain||Open Spaces Act 1906, ss 9 and 10: Local Government Act 1972, s 214|
|Power to provide||Local Government Act 1972, s.214|
|Power to agree to maintain monuments end memorials||Parish Council and Burial Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 19970, s. 1|
|Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries||Local Government Act 1972|
|Bus Shelters||Power to provide and maintain||Local Government (Miscellaneous) Act 1953 s.4|
|Bye-Laws||Power to make bye-laws for public walks and pleasure ground||Public Health Act 1875, s 164|
|Cycle Parks||Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 s.57 (7)|
|Swimming pools, bathing places, baths and washhouses||Public Health Act 1936, s 223|
|Open Spaces and Burial Grounds||Open Spaces Act 1906 ss 12 and 15|
|Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms||Public Health Act 1936 s. 198|
|Public Bathing||Public Health Act 1936 s. 231|
|Hiring of pleasure boats in parks and pleasure grounds||Public Health Amendments Act 1907, s 44(2): Public Health Act 1961, s54|
|Charities||Duty to receive accounts of parochial charities||Charities Act 1960, s 32|
|Power to appoint trustees of parochial charities||Charities Act 1993, s 79|
|Clocks*||Power to provide public clocks||Parish Councils Act 1957,s 2|
|Closed Churchyards||Powers (and sometimes duty) as to maintain||Local Government Act 1972, s.215|
|Commons Land and Common Pastures||Powers in relation to inclosure as to regulation and management and as to providing common pasture||Inclosure Act 1845; Local Government Act 1984, s 8(4); Smallholding and Allotments Act 1908, s.34|
|Power to protect unclaimed common land from unlawful interference||Commons Registration Act1965,s.9|
|Power to manage commons and village greens under a district council scheme||Commons Act 1899, ss 4 & 5|
|Conference facilities*||Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities||Local Government Act 1972, s.144|
|Consultation||Right to be consulted by principal councils if directed by Secretary of State (England) of by Welsh Assembly (Wales)||Local Government and Rating Act1997, s21; Local Government Act 1972, s 33A|
|Community Centres and Village Halls||Power to provide and equip premises for use of clubs having athletic, social or educational objectives||Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s.19|
|Crime Prevention*||Powers to spend money on various crime prevention measures||Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s 31|
|Power to (a) install equipment, (b) establish schemes and (c) assist others in so doing for the prevention of crime||Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s 31|
|Delegated Functions||Power to assume a function delegated by another authority|
Power to ensure effective discharge of Council functions
Power to employ someone to carry out Council functions
Local Government Act 1972ss. 101, 111 and 112
|Drainage||Power to deal with ponds/ditches||Public Health Act 1936, s. 260|
|Education||Right to appoint governors of primary schools||School Standards and Framework Act 1988, para 15 of Sch.10|
|Entertainment and the Arts*||Provision of entertainment and support of the arts||Local Government Act 1972,s145|
|Environment||Power to act for the benefit of the community by tackling and promoting awareness of environmental issues||Local Government Act 1972,ss 111 and 137|
|Flagpoles||Power to erect flagpoles in highways||Highways Act 1980, s 144|
|” Free Resource”||Power to incur expenditure not otherwise authorised on anything which in the council’s opinion is in the interests of the area or part of it or all or some of the inhabitants||Local Government Act 1972,s139|
|Gifts||Power to accept||Local Government Act 1972 s139|
|Highways||Power to repair and maintain footpaths and bridleways||Highways Act 1980, ss 43 and 50|
|Power to light roads and public places||Parish Councils Act 1957 s 3:Highways Act 1980, s 301: Local Government Act 1972,Sched. 14 para 27|
|Provision of litter bins||Litter Act 1983, 5 and 6|
|Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles||Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss 57 and 63|
|Power to enter into an agreement as to dedication and widening||Highways Act 1980. ss 30 and 72|
|Power to provide roadside shelters, and omnibus shelters||Parish Councils Act 1957, s 1|
|Consent of Parish Council required for ending maintenance of highway at public expense, or for stopping up or diversion of highway||Highways Act, 1980 ss 47 and 116|
|Power to complain to District Council as to protection of rights of way and roadside waste|
|Power to provide traffic signs and other notices||Highways Act 1980, s 130|
|Power to plant trees, etc., and to maintain roadside verges||Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s 72; Countryside Act 1968|
|Power to complain to local highway authority that a highway is unlawfully stopped up or obstructed||Highways Act 1980, s 96|
|Power to prosecute for unlawful ploughing of a footpath or bridleway||Highways Act 1980, s 130 Highways Act 1980, s 134|
|Investments||Power to participate in schemes of collective investment||Trustee Investments Act 1962,s11|
|Land||Power to acquire land by agreement, to appropriate land and to dispose of||Local Government Act 1972, ss 124, 126 and 127|
|Power to accept gifts of land||Local Government Act 1972s139|
|Power to acquire land by compulsory purchase||Local Government Act 1972, s 125|
|Power to obtain particulars of persons interested in land||Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976,s 16|
|Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them||Public Health Act 1875, s 16;: Local Government Act 1972, Sched. 14, para 27; Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1980, s 44; Open Spaces Act 1906, ss 9 and 10; Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s 19|
|Lighting||Power to light roads and public places||Parish Councils Act 1957, s Highways Act 1980, s 301|
|Litter* and dog fouling||Provision of receptacles Obliged to keep own land free of litter and dog faces||Litter Act 1983, ss 5 an Environmental Protection Act 1990; Litter (Animal Droppings) Order 1991|
|Lotteries||Power to promote||Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s 7|
|Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms||Powers to provide mortuaries and post-mortem rooms||Public Health Act 1936, s 198|
|Nature Reserves||Power to designate statutory to the nature reserves and marine nature reserves – English Nature can designate sites of specific scientific interest||National Parks and Access Countryside Act 1949, ss 15, 16 and 21; The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1982, ss 36 and 39 and Sched.12|
|Powers to make management agreements with landowners and the English Nature to manage council-owned reserve land as a nature reserve|
|Nuisances||Power to deal with offensive ditches, ponds and gutters||Public Health Act 1936, s 260|
|Open Spaces||Power to acquire land and maintain||Public Health Act 1875, s 164; Open Spaces Act 1906, ss 9 and 10; Commons Act 1899|
|Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces, and to manage and control them.||Public Health Act 1875, s 164; Local Government Act 1972, Sched 14, para 27; Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1980, s 44; Open Spaces Act 1906, ss 9 and 10; Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s 19.|
|Parish Property and Records||Powers to direct as to their custody||Local Government Act 1972, s226|
|Parking Facilities||Power to provide parking places for motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles||Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss 57 and 63|
|Planning||Right to be notified of and power to respond to planning applications||Town and Country Planning Act 990, Sched. 1 para 8; Local Government Act 1972, Sched. 15 para 20.|
|Postal and telecommunications facilities||Power to pay the Post Office, British Telecommunications or any other public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing post or telegraph office or telecommunications facilities||Post Office Act 1954, s 51; Telecommunications Act 1984,s97|
|Public Buildings and Village Halls||Power to provide buildings for offices and for public meetings and assemblies||Local Government Act 1972 s 133|
|Public Conveniences||Power to provide||Public Health Act 19336, s 87|
|Public Enquiries||Power to make representations at public enquiries||Local Government Act 1982, s222|
|Publicise functions||Power to publicise council and local authority functions||Local Government Act 1982, s. 142|
|Raising of Finances||Power to raise money through them precept||Local Government Act 1982, s150|
|Records||Power to collect, exhibit and purchase local records||Local Government Act Records) Act 1962 ss 1 and 2|
|Recreation*||Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds, and open spaces and to manage and control them.|
Power to provide gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps
|Public Health Act 1875, s 164; Local Government Act 1972, Sched 14 para 27; Public Health Acts Amendment Acts 1890, s 44; Open Spaces Act 1906, ss 9 and 10; Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s 19; Commons Act 1899|
|Provision of boating pools||Public Health Act 1962, s 54|
|Seats and Shelters*||Power to provide roadside seats and shelters||Parish Councils Act 1957, s 1|
|Tourism*||Power to contribute to the encouragement of tourism||Local Government Act 1972, s. 144|
|Town and Country Planning||Right to be notified of planning applications||Town & Country Planning Act 1990, Sched. 1 para 8|
|Town Status||Power to adopt town status||Local Government Act 1972, ss 245 and 245B|
|Traffic Calming||Power to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes||Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s 26|
|Training||Power to train Councillors||Local Government Act 1972. s175.|
|Transport*||Power to (a) establish car sharing schemes (b) make grants for bus services, (c) provide taxi-fare concessions; (d) investigate public transport, road use and needs; (e) provide information about public transport services|
Community Transport Schemes
|Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s 26-29|
|Village greens||Power to maintain, to make bylaws for and to prosecute for interference with village greens||Open Spaces Act 1906, s 15 Inclosure Act 1857, s 12, Commons Act 1876, s 29|
|War Memorials||Power to maintain,, repair, protect and adapt war memorials||War Memorials (Local Authorities Powers) Act 1923, s 1 as extended by Local Government Act 1948, s 133|
|Water Supply||Power to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water therefrom.||Public Health Act 1936, s 125|
This list is intended as a summary of the principal functions of Local Council. It is not intended to be a definitive list of such functions.
Where a function is marked with an asterisk * a Council also has the power to give financial assistance to another person or body performing the same function.