Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does the Parish Council do?
A. The Parish Council is the first tier of local government, working to ensure Elstow remains an attractive village by reporting matters that need addressing to the Borough Council. It works in partnership with the Borough Council to maintain and improve local services such as: roadside seats, bus shelters, litter bins & litter picking, children’s’ play equipment, dog waste bins, street lighting and highway maintenance needs within the village
In addition, the Parish Council also considers and responds to local planning proposals and other matters that might affect the lives and well-being of residents.
The Parish Council liaises with the Borough Council on matters that are Borough responsibilities such as abandoned cars, fly tipping, dog fouling.
Q. Who is on the Parish Council?
A. Like all other local authority roles, Parish Councillors are elected every four years. If the number of nominations matches the number of places on the Council, no formal elections are held: if there are fewer nominations than places, then the Parish Councillors can co-opt other people to fill the vacant seats until the next election. In addition to the Councillors, the Clerk to the Parish Council deals with the business of the Council, and is usually the first point of contact for residents and outside bodies.
Q. Who pays?
A. The costs of the services provided by the Parish Council are met by a special budget known as the parish precept. The Parish Council agrees this budget once a year and the money is collected through the Council tax system by the Borough Council. In addition the Parish Council regularly submits bids for grant funding from various organisations and local authorities. The Parish Council accounts are internally and externally audited annually and are available for residents to inspect if they wish. The Parish Council reviews its financial position at every meeting, and all Parish Councillors carry out their duties at no cost to local residents.
Q. How often does it meet and where?
A. At present, the Parish Council meets ten times a year, with no meeting in August or December. Dates of meetings are posted here on the website and on village notice boards. The meetings are normally held in the Playing Fields Association committee room, starting at 7.30pm.
Q. Where does my Borough Councillor fit in?
A. Local government is organised in tiers; the Borough Council looks after education, social services, roads, housing, pavements, some street lighting, planning and environmental health. There is one Borough Councillor elected for the Elstow and Stewartby Ward. The Borough Councillor attends Parish Council meetings regularly to keep the Parish Council informed about what they are doing and to take back issues we might raise.
Q. How can I find out what goes on at the meetings?
A. Members of the public are entitled to attend meetings and raise matters in the 'Open Forum' part of the agenda. Elstow Parish Council welcomes this and likes to hear from residents about any issues or concerns they may have. In exceptional circumstances members of the public might also be invited to comment on an agenda item where appropriate. For particular concerns that they would like to raise and have put on the agenda for discussion by the Parish Council as a whole, parishioners should contact the Clerk. The minutes of all meetings are public documents and will be published here on the website. Note that since the minutes have to be signed off which takes place at the following meeting they will be one meeting in arrears