Parish Council

Baston Parish Council is a small local authority. At present it has 7 councillors who are in the main elected by the residents of the parish (some members are co-opted to fill casual vacancies). In addition it has a Parish Clerk who is employed by the Parish Council to perform all the necessary administrative duties of the council.

The Baston Parish Council is responsible for providing and maintaining some local facilities such as bus shelters, seating etc. plus it has a responsibility for providing allotments for the residents who wish to cultivate their own vegetables.

The main strength and authority of the Parish Council is through communication. It provides a conduit through which the County and District Councils can communicate with the residents. It also represents and communicates on behalf of the community in its relationship with the higher tiers of local government. It also tries to resolve problems within the community without resorting to formal action by any authority.

The Parish Council responds to requests by the District Council for advice, comments etc on matters for which they are responsible. Every planning application that is made by a resident of Baston is decided by the District Council but the District Council formally request comments from the Parish Council before making a decision to approve or otherwise. In the event that the Parish Council object to any application, the District Council must then consider the application in a full session rather than leaving it to the planning officers.

The Parish Council exerts influence within the community by discussion and debate. It has a policy of wherever possible supporting and helping to develop the village facilities, groups and societies. To a very limited amount, it can directly help some of these groups by provision of a direct financial grant but these have to be requested well in advance in order that if they are supported they can be included in the Parish Councils budgets. However, it can make a far larger contribution by being involved and directly supporting applications to other bodies who have sufficient funds to support the groups.

The Parish Council aims to take a leading role in enhancing the Safety and Security of the community. As a representative of the residents, it is able to involve the local Police and District Council organisations. It is able to support initiatives by the residents themselves. (e.g. Neighbourhood Watch). It will also support those residents who are suffering from anti-social behaviour by other residents or visitors and can if necessary use its influence to involve the appropriate authorities.

The Parish Council holds a meeting every month on the second Thursday of the month (except January and August when there is no meeting).

Meetings begin at 8.00PM with an Open Forum at which any resident of the village may address the Council on matters affecting the community, but please note the Open Forum is not a decision making forum. The Council may only reach a decision on a matter which appears on the formal agenda for the meeting, so while the Councillors will be happy to listen to your concerns and provide any relevant information, any issue requiring a decision may have to be placed on the agenda of a future meeting.

Formal Council Meetings will immediately follow the Open Forum discussion, usually commencing at approx. 8.10pm.

The agenda for meetings is designed to enable both formal standing items of business to be transacted and enable new issues to be raised for discussion and debate.

The budget for the Parish Council is set each year, agreed and published in open session it is then submitted to the District Council for inclusion as a Precept collected with the Council Tax.