Parish Council

Parish Council

What is a Parish Council? | Role of Clerk | About Meetings | Annual Meeting of the Parish Council | Annual Meeting of the Parish | Planning Applications | Contacts | Meeting Dates, Documents & Records | Policies Procedures & Controls | Register of Interests (Parish Councillors)

What is a Parish Council?

The 1894 Local Government Act established Parish Councils making them the lowest tier of government in law with particular statutory responsibilities and duties. Members (Parish Councillors) are elected to office by public vote every four years.

It is a common misconception that Parish Councillors are paid for their work but the role is a voluntary and unpaid. Once elected Parish Councillors are required to sign an ‘acceptance of office’ and then to declare any relevant interests. The Register of Interests is publicly searchable. Parish Councillors are also required to sign up to a Code of Conduct as adopted by the Council.

You can find more information about Parish Councils on the gov.uk web site, The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) the Communities, Parish and Local Councils (CPALC) web site, and this Wikipedia page.

Role of Clerk

The Parish Clerk is a statutory office holder fulfiling the role of “Proper Officer” and takes responsibility for the administration of the Council’s affairs having the key role of advising the council, and its members, on governance, ethical and procedural matters including the maintenance of the Council’s Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Risk Register. The Clerk is registered as an employee of the Council with HMRC.

The Clerk prepares and posts notices, is responsible for writing the agenda and minutes, keeps the council’s records, and deals with all correspondence. As the RFO, the clerk produces the Annual Budget and issues the Precept and Grant Requests, produces the quarterly/annual budget monitoring reports, prepares all payments for authorisation, prepares the final accounts and supporting documents required by the Council’s auditors, and arranges the council’s insurance.

The Clerk is not answerable to any individual councillor, including the chairman, and is an independent employee of the council, recognising that the council is responsible for all decisions and taking instruction from the council as a body. If the council has other members of staff then the clerk is their line manager.

Meetings

Parish Council meetings are open to the public. Anyone can attend to observe and make representations to councillors by invitation of the Chair under the usual ‘Public Open Forum’ agenda item. Members of the public are unable to take part in any other part of the meeting unless specifically invited by the Chair to comment on a particular agenda item on which they have some expertise. Sometimes the Parish Council may invite people to participate because they have some particular knowledge and expertise that would be helpful in the Council’s deliberations.

A minumum of four meetings must be held each year. Walsham Parish Council meets on the second Wednesday of each month in the Memorial Hall from 7pm.  The May meeting is the Annual Meeting. If you are interested to listen or speak at the meetings, do please come along.

If you would prefer not to attend in person you can submit a representation or question to the clerk by post or email.

At least three clear days notice is given of each meeting by a posting on the notice board near the post box in front of the Bowling Club and on this webpage.

Special annual meetings

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (AMPC)

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council has to be held on any day in May other than election years (next 2023) when it must be held on the 4th day after election day or within 14 days thereof.  In practice, Walsham convenes this meeting on the usual second Tuesday of the month unless proscribed otherwise by the date of the quadrennial local elections. Like all Parish Council meetings it is a public meeting.

At the Annual Meeting the first business has to be the election of the Chairman and vice-chairman. The Chair signs a Declaration of Acceptance (of office).  Committee members and representatives are also appointed to other bodies. And there is a list of annual housekeeping items on the agenda. The rest of this meeting follows the usual format.

In an election year all councillors are re-elected, including Chair and Vice-Chair and all sign a Declaration of Acceptance of office.

The Annual Meeting of the Parish (AMP)

If you are new to the village, want to meet people and find out more about village organisations, have some good ideas to put to the Parish Council, come along to the Annual Parish Meeting which is informal and a chance for the community of the Parish to get together.

The Annual Parish Meeting (APM) is an ‘assembly fo the Parish’ and also an annual meeting which can be held on any day from 1st March to 1st June inclusive with 7 days public notice.  This is not a meeting of the Parish Council but of the electorate and there is no prescribed format.  Electors can contribute to the agenda and these meetings are often used to celebrate local activities and debate current issues in the community.

The chairman of the council, any two councillors or any six electors can call the Annual Parish Meeting.  Councillors do not have to attend but it is good practice to do so along with the Chairman who will preside if present and will usually present an annual report on the work of the Parish Council. 

The format of this meeting is changing to encourage more attendance. As well as a brief annual report from the Chair on the work of the Parish Council, village organisations will be invited to take tables to promote themselves and their work in the village and to solicit for new members to support their work. The Parish Council wants to use this also as an opportunity for feedback on Parish Council activities and upcoming developments like the Play & Recreation Area and anything else of concern. The Parish Council provides refreshments for the event (tea and cake).

Planning Applications

babergh and mid suffolk district council banner

The only requirements in law on the Local Planning Authority (LPA), Babergh & Mid-Suffolk District Council, are for notification to the Parish Council of planning applications and to take any representations into account. This does not mean that the LPA will decide an application as the Parish Council have indicated.

The LPA is only entitled to take into account planning related matters when considering an application and has access to more information than the Parish Council.

The LPA will receive advice from their professional officers on how an application should be dealt with. A Parish Council usually does not take such advice, not least because of the potential expense that ultimately falls to the Council Tax levy.

The LPA must take into account the representations of others as well as a Parish Council, especially the observations of consultees, both statutory and non-statutory, neighbours of a development, and the applicant.

Whilst the representations from a Parish Council are welcomed, and sometime sought, by the LPA, they are not necessarily given any more weight than representations from others e.g neighbours, and indeed will be given less weight than the observations of the statutory consultees, for example, a Highways Officer.

Where there are different opinions, the view of statutory consultees usually stands, because if there is an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, or a legal challenge from developers, the LPA must be able to support, and defend the reasons for any decision, in law. The way in which planning law works between all the stakeholders in the process is decided by legislation enacted, and as amended over time, by central government. Any concerns with the way planning law operates should be raised with your Member of Parliament. By all means copy in the Parish Council via the Clerk.

The LPA must balance comments from the Parish Council with all the other representations received, and they have restrictions on the way in which they are entitled by law to deal with applications because they must not take into account non-planning related matters in determining an application. The way objections are worded and presented is therefore key to their effectivness.

Alterations to planning applications are not always advised to the Parish Council because each re-notification delays a decision by 2 to 3 weeks, and the authority has only 8 weeks, in most cases, to determine an application unless an extension of time is agreed by the applicant.

For the Parish Council’s representations to carry weight they must be carefully and coherently expressed as the view of the Parish Council as a ‘corporate body’ rather than individual Parish Councillors. The Parish Council’s formal representations are submitted on the LPA’s planning portal. Anyone can access this portal to follow the progress of a particular application. Unless a detailed response is required the Parish Council comments only to ‘object’, ‘support’ or ‘no comment’.

Through the Localism Act 2011, two new ways in which local councils can influence planning were introduced, one of which was a neighbourhood plan, which having demonstrated its general alignment with the strategic policies of the Local Plan (the process the neighbourhood plan group are currently following) and brought into force (as passed by referendum and adopted by the LPA), takes precedence over existing non-strategic policies in the Local Plan for a neighbourhood. And where these are in conflict it gives local communities more say about where new homes are built and what they should look like.

Babergh Mid Suffolk Planning – all you need to know

BMSDC Planning Portal – accessible to all by registration

Address for written comments on planning applications is:
Planning Department
Endeavour House
Russell Road
Ipswich IP1 2BX
Clearly state the application reference number

Planning Portal User Guide

If you are interested to learn what does and does not constitute a ‘planning consideration‘ on which an LPA can legally make a decision, read this document.

Contacts

Searchable Register of Interests for Parish Councillors

Name & EmailAddress/ContactResponsibilities
Kevin Boardley
Clerk
'Responsible Financial Officer' (RFO)
Willow Cottage
The Street
Walsham le Willows
01359 259 794
Role of Parish Clerk
Councillor Richard Belson
Chairman
Declaration of Acceptance of Office

Foxglove Cottage
Crownland Road
Walsham le Willows
01359 258868
Footpaths
Local Heritage
Tree Warden
Councillor Ian Bartholomew
Vice Chairman
Declaration of Acceptance of Office
2 Upper Meadow
Finningham Road
Walsham le Willows
01359 258349
Councillor Paul Arbon
Declaration of Acceptance of Office
7 Oak Tree Cottages
Finningham Road
Walsham le Willows
IP31 3GA
07901 606 935
Councillor Brian Kinnair
Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Old Oak Barn
West Street
Walsham le Willows
01359 259922
Internal Auditor
Play Council Rep
Councillor Nicholas Mecrow
Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Thornaby House
Summer Road
Walsham le Willows
01359 258243
Litter Picks
Speed Indicator Device data
Councillor Trevor Roberts
Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Acorn House
Chapel Road
Wattisfield
01359 251144
Emergency Planning
Rep On Community Council
Get Mapping
Litter Picks
Councillor Janette Winch
Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Riverside
The Street
Walsham le Willows
IP31 3AZ
07572 866 430

District, County & National Representatives

Councillor Richard Meyer07771 703 668District Councillor
Councillor Jessica FlemingThe Limetrees
All Saints Road
Creeting St Mary
IP6 8PJ
w | 01449 711065
m | 07714 597980
County Councillor
Jo Churchill MPConstituency Office
10 Hatter Street
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1L
01284 752311

House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
020 7219 8487
Member of Parliament

Meeting Dates & Records

Latest published Parish Council Agenda, Minutes, Budget Reconciliation Reports and reports from County and District Councillors. The Minutes are also published each month in the Walsham Observer.

These are public meetings. If you would prefer not to attend in person you can submit a representation or question to the clerk by post or email.

IndexMeeting DateRecords
128Remaining Meeting Dates 2021/22Memorial Hall at 7pm second Wednesday of the month.
Please note: May be subject to change depending on venue availability.

13 July 2022
10 August 2022
14 September 2022
12 October 2022
9 November 2022
23 November 2022 Budget Setting
14 December 2022
11 January 2023
8 February 2023
8 March 2023
12 April 2023
10 May 2023 Annual Meeting of Parish Council
1278th June 2022Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
12624th May 2022Parish Council Accounts - Exercise of Public Rights Notice
12521 May 2022 Saturday Annual Meeting of the Parish folllowed by an Extraordinary Parish Council MeetingReport from Chair to Annual Meeting of the Parish (1-4pm)
Minutes for Extraordinary Meeting (4-5.30pm)
12411th May 2022 Annual Meeting of Parish CouncilMinutes
Reconciliation
Year-End Statement
2021/22 CIL Accounting Statement
2021/22 Internal Audit Report
2021/22 Section 1 Annual Governance Statement
2021/22 Section 2 Accounting Statements
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
12328th April 2022 Specially convened meeting to award play area contractMinutes
12213 April 2022Minutes
Reconciliation
CIL Expenditure Report
Internal Control Checks
Transparency Notices
Payments over £500 to 31st March 2022
Variances report to March 31st 2022
Asset Register to March 2022
District Councillor's Report
12109 March 2022Minutes
Reconciliation
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report

12008 March 2022
Special Planning Meeting PRIORY ROOM
Minutes
11909 February 2022
Review standing orders and policies
Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
Variance Report
Payments over £500
District Councillors Report 1
District Councillors Report 2
County Councillors Report
11812 January 2022 Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Councillors Report
1178 December 2021 Set Budget & PreceptMinutes
Bank Reconciliation
County Councillors Report
District Councillors Report
11624 November 2021 Minutes - Consideration of 2022/23 budget
11510 November 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Councillors Report
11413 October 2021 Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
CIL Consultation Suggestions & Parish Council responses.
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
11311 September 2021 Annual Meeting of the Parish Find out more
11208 September 2021 Minutes
Bank Reconciliaton
Variance Report
Payments over £500
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
11131 August 2021NOTICE- Publication of Externally Audited Accounts
Annual Governance and Accountability Return Section 1 & 2 (restated)
Annual Governance and Accountability Return Section 3
11011 August 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliaton
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
10914 July 2021 Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
Payments over £500 to June 2021
Variance Report to June 2021
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
10809 June 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
Exercise Public Rights - Unaudited Accounts
District Councillor Report


10726th May 2021 Annual Meeting of the Parish CouncilMinutes
Bank Reconciliation
Year End Summary
Signed Annual Governance Statement
Signed Annual Accounting Statements (subject to change following completion of external audit)
Annual Donations
Traffic Speed Data - April 2021 - The Street
Traffic Speed Data - April 2021 - Finningham Road
10613 April 2021 Minutes
Year End Bank Reconciliation to 31st March 2021
Internal Control Checks 2020/21
Asset Register to March 2021
Internal Audit Report 2021
Internal Audit Statement 2021
County Councillor's Report
10509 March 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
10409 February 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
2018 Play Area Consultation by volunteers
10312 January 2021 Set Precept & PreceptMinutes
Bank Reconciliation
Variance Report
Budget 2021/22
District Council Report
County Council Report
10208 December 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report To Be Uploaded when received
10124 November 2020 Budget MeetingMinutes
10010th November 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report
9928th October 2020Special Meeting to discuss planning application which requires urgent response before next scheduled Parish Council Meeting
Minutes
Application DC/20/04714
9813 October 2020Minutes
Report to Council on Finningham Road Traffic & Parking
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report

9708 September 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report
Conclusion of External Audit - 2019/20
Signed year end reconciliation report - 2019/20

Draft Housing Land Supply Consultation - Mid Suffolk District Council
Mid Suffolk - 5 Year Housing Land Supply Report
Babergh - 5 Year Housing Land Supply Report
Proposed Changes to Planning System White Paper - Central Government
Changes to the current system
Planning for the Future - White Paper
Transparency & Competition Land Control
9611 August 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report

9514 July 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report
9430 June 2020Notice of Public Rights to Inspect Accounts for y/e 31 March 2020

9309 June 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report

9212 May 2020 Annual Meeting of the Parish CouncilMinutes
Bank Reconciliation
Internal Audit Report
District Council Report
County Council Report

9128 April 2020 TBC Annual Parish MeetingArrangments for holding of this meeting is postponed due to the Coronavirus lockdown and pending developments.
8914 April 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report
Payments Over £100
Asset Register to March 2020
8810 March 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report - Not Received
County Council Report
8711 February 2020Minutes
County Council Report
Bank Reconciliation
8614 January 2020Minutes
Budget 2020/21

District Council Report
Bank Reconciliation
8510 December 2019 Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
8426 November 2019
Budget Setting
Minutes
8312 November 2019Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report

8208 October 2019Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report
8107 October 2019Conclusion of External Audit
Notice of Conclusion of Audit
Annual Governance and Accountability Return
8010 September 2019Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report


7913 August 2019Minutes
District Council Report
County Council Report
Bank Reconciliation
7809 July 2019Minutes
District Council Report
County Council Report
Bank Reconciliation


7726 June 2019Annual Internal Audit Report

7625 June 2019 Annual Parish MeetingAnnual Parish Meeting Reports - NB - this is not a Parish Council meeting
7511 June 2019Minutes
CC & DC reports
Bank Reconciliation
7410 June 2019Approved Accounting Statement - 2018/19
Period of Exercise of Public Rights
7314 May 2019Annual Meeting of Parish Council
Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
CC & DC Report
7209 April 2019Minutes
Y/E Bank Reconciliation
Y/E Statement
CC & DC Report
Payments Over £100
7112 March 2019Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
CC & DC Report
7012 February 2019Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
CC & DC Report
698 January 2019Minutes
CC & DC Report
Budget Report
6811 December 2018Minutes
CC & DC Report
Budget Report
6727 November 2018 Budget SettingMinutes
2019/20 Budget
6613 November 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
659 October 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
2017/18 External Audit Notice
2017/18 External Audit Final Certificate
646 September 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
6314 August 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
6210 July 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
6120th June 2018Sec.1 Approved Accounts 2017/18
Sec.2 Approved Accounts 2017/18
Public Rights Notice
6012 June 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report

5929th May 2018
Parish Meeting
Minutes
Chair's Report
District Report
County Report
588th May 2018
Annual Parish Council Meeting
Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report

5710th April 2018Minutes
Y/E Budget Report
Y/E Statement
Payments Over £100
5613th March 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
5513th February 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
5423rd January 2018Minutes
539th January 2018Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
5212th December 2017Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
5128th November 2017
Budget Meeting
Minutes
5014th November 2017Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
4910th October 2017Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
4812th September 2017Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
478th August 2017Minutes
Budget Report
4611th July 2017Minutes
Budget Report
CC & DC Report
4513th June 2017Minutes
Budget Report
449th May 2017Minutes
Budget Report
4325th April 2017AGM & APM Minutes
Payments Over £100
4211th April 2017Minutes
4114th March 2017Minutes
4014th February 2017Minutes
3910th January 2017Minutes
3813th December 2016Minutes
378th November 2016Minutes
3611th October 2016Minutes
3513th September 2016Minutes
349th August 2016Minutes
3312th July 2016Minutes
3214th June 2016Minutes
3110th May 2016Minutes
3026th April 2016AGM Minutes
2912th April 2016Minutes
288th March 2016Minutes
279th February 2016Minutes
2612th January 2016Minutes
258th December 2015Minutes
2410th November 2015Minutes
2313th October 2015Minutes
2216th September 2015Minutes
2111th August 2015Minutes
2014th July 2015Minutes
199th June 2015Minutes
1812th May 2015Minutes
1728th April 2015AGM Minutes
1614th April 2015Minutes
1510th March 2015Minutes
1410th February 2015Minutes
1313th January 2015Minutes
129th December 2014Minutes
1111th November 2014Minutes
1014th October 2014Minutes
99th September 2014Minutes
812th August 2014Minutes
78th July 2014Minutes
610th June 2014Minutes
513th May 2014Minutes
48th April 2014Minutes
311th March 2014Minutes
211th February 2014Minutes
114th January 2014Minutes

Policies, Procedures & Control Documents

These documents are reviewed and updated annually. There are also some informational documents on the role of a Councillor, elections and legal spending powers.
Use the search box here to find items based on any text in the table below.

#TypeDocument
001FinancialModel Standing Orders
002FinancialFinancial Regulations
003ControlInternal Control Statement
004ControlData Protection and Document Retention Policy
005FinancialRisk Assessment - Financial
006RiskGeneral Health & Safety Policy
007RiskLitter Pick Guidance
008RiskRisk Assessment - Pavement Sweeping
009Conduct & EmploymentDisciplinary Procedure
010Conduct & EmploymentGrievance Procedure
011RiskCovid Guidance - Litter Pick Volunteers
012RiskRisk Assessment- Litter Pick
013RiskChild & Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Policy
014ControlMarquee Usage Policy
015Conduct & EmploymentSuffolk Code of Conduct
016FinancialReserves Policy
017Conduct & EmploymentEquality & Diversity Policy
018ControlAsset Register
019RiskRisk Register
020FinancialCIL Funding Policy
021FinancialCIL Funding Application Form

022OtherSec.137 Powers under Local Government Act
023OtherLTN 8 | Elections
024OtherGood Councillor Guide
025Other2007 Village Design Statement
026Conduct & EmploymentParish Councillor Register of Interests

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