How the Parish Council Functions
A Parish Council is the first tear of local government – a small local authority. Its councillors are elected for four years. Vacancies between elections are filled by election (if requested) or co-option. If you are interested in becoming a councillor contact the Clerk. Each year councillors elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
Hardingstone Parish Councillors are all volunteers and receive no payments or allowances. The Clerk is employed by the Parish Council for a set number of hours and is therefore not always available. The Clerk is the Proper Officer and Responsible Finance Officer of the Council.
Parish Councils have formal powers. They can provide and maintain public areas such as open spaces and parks, either directly, or by financially helping someone else (such as volunteers) to do so. They have the power to improve the quality of life by spending sums of money on things, which in their opinion, are in the interests of the parish or its inhabitants.
The Parish Council is a focal point for consultation on various issues about many aspects of local planning. It is entitled to be consulted on small and large scale planning issues by the Borough and County Councils. It can represent Hardingstone’s views to statutory bodies. Parish Councillors are local and know the village well.
How is the Parish Council Funded?
The Parish Council raises funds thorough the annual “precept. “- part of the Council Tax bill collected by Northampton Borough Council on the Parish’s behalf. Parish Councillors consider of residents’ concerns/opinions in the autumn to help prepare priorities for the following year. They set a budget usually in November and set the precept usually in January.
The cost of the Parish Council should not be viewed as “extra”. If there was no Parish Council, services would be provided by the Borough Council and could give less local attention. The accounts are strictly audited annually by an internal auditor and external auditor.