Parish Councils operate as non-political bodies serving the community by dealing with local issues and working with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to represent the concerns of the parish.
The Councillors who make up the Parish Council, are elected every four years in local elections. The Council employs a Clerk whose role is to ensure that the business of the Parish Council runs smoothly within the legal requirements as laid down by Central Government and to carry out the policy decisions of the council.
Regular monthly meetings are held together with an Annual Parish meeting at which a resume of the previous year's activities of the Parish Council is presented.
Meetings include discussions on matters of planning, finance and other relevant issues. They may also include discussion of policy and documents produced by local and central government. Members of the public may attend these meeting and may raise issues outside the designated meeting; but may only speak during the meeting by invitation. They may also request that a matter be placed on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting.
Parish Councils are funded by what is known as a 'precept'. This is a sum of money which is calculated and applied for annually, and is collected by ERYC on behalf of the Parish Council with the Council Tax. The leaflet distributed with the Council Tax demand shows the amount paid annually by an average household in each parish.
Expenditure includes insurance of Parish Council assets, maintenance of village projects, Audit fees, the Clerk's salary and other minor expenses. A detailed annual return accounting for the use of finances must be produced and submitted to the Audit Commission each year.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COUNCILLORS - update July 2012
The Localism Act 2011 means that there are some changes to the regulations that govern parish councils. These include
A requirement for all parish councils to adopt a code of conduct that complied with the regulations by 1stJuly 2012,
Changes to the interests that councillors have to declare and the impact of these on procedures within meetings
A requirement for all councillors to complete new registers of interest, and each register to be published on council websites by 28thJuly 2012.
When available, the Register of Interests for each Councillor will be accessible by clicking on their name in the list of Councillors.
Prejudicial interest is now replaced by pecuniary interest and councillors have to register and disclose pecuniary interests for themselves their partner/spouse/person they are living with. Unfortunately, the regulations did not define a pecuniary interest until after the June meeting of HPC. Accordingly, HPC adopted an interim code of conduct at the June meeting, to take these new regulations into account and comply with legislation. Since the June meeting, further information has been published, giving a prescriptive definition of what a pecuniary interest is. This means we will need to adopt a revised code of conduct at the July meeting and this will be published with the minutes from that meeting.
The new regulations mean that councillors with a pecuniary interest on an agenda item will not be allowed to speak to that item at all within the council meeting. We also agreed at the June meeting that councillors who had a pecuniary interest in an agenda item should leave the meeting room altogether whilst that item was discussed and any decisions made. In future it will be a criminal offence if a councillor
Fails to register a pecuniary interest within 28 days of taking office
Fails to register a pecuniary interest at a meeting
Fails to register a new pecuniary interest within 28 days
Participates in any discussion in which they have a pecuniary interest
Votes in a matter in which they have a pecuniary interest