Parish Councils are the level of local government closest to the people and supervise civic duties in towns and villages. Broadly speaking, Parish Councils exist to represent the people within the parish with the aim of improving the quality of life within the parish. They are consultees on all types of planning applications affecting the parish. Parish Councils have the power to raise a sum of money known as the ‘precept’ which is collected with the Council Tax to support their operations. Parish Councils have powers to provide some facilities themselves, or they can contribute towards their provision by others. Our Aims as a Parish Council We as a Parish Council have tried to improve communication within the parish and to improve links with the people of the parish. We try to improve the quality of life in the village and maintain and improve the services and facilities that exist. Duties of a Parish Councillor Councillors attend meetings to decide on activities to support, where and how much money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented. They also monitor the effects of these decisions and try to get involved locally by going to meetings of bodies affecting the wider community and taking up issues on behalf of members of the public. How we are Elected Councillors are generally elected by the public every four years. There are nine seats on Littlebourne’s Parish Council, plus a part-time Clerk who help us to carry out our duties. The Clerk acts as the council’s Responsible Finance Officer and she also gives effect to decisions of the council by placing orders for goods or services or formally writing to other bodies. All correspondence and communications should normally pass through the Clerk. At each year’s Annual General Meeting of the parish council each May a Chairman is elected and it is usual practice for a Vice-Chairman to also be appointed who can deputise for the Chairman as necessary. Any other representatives are also elected, e.g. our Parish Council nominee who represents us at the Kent Association of Local Councils’ meetings. In the event of a resignation or vacancy occurring mid-term, either a bye-election is held or, if there is no call for one, the remaining councillors can co-opt a willing volunteer to serves out the remainder of the four-year term. Fortunately politics are not generally a feature of Parish Council elections.
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