Parish Council

Parish Council

Parish Council Meetings as Lockdown is eased

What is a Parish Council? | Role of Clerk | About Meetings | Contacts | Meeting Dates, Documents & Records | Policies and Procedures | Other Documents

What is a Parish Council?

graphic of people around meeting table in silhouette

Not to be confused with the Parochial Church Council whose former secular/religious role was split by the 1894 Local Government Act, giving the secular role to Parish Councils making them the lowest tier of government in law with particular statutory responsibilities and duties. Members (Parish Councillors) are elected 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 one and is unpaid. All Parish Councillors are elected to office and 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” to the council and is the council’s principal adviser, being responsible for the administration of its affairs.

The Clerk is not answerable to any individual councillor – not even the chairman – is an independent and unbiased 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.

As the council’s proper officer the clerk is responsible for implementing council policy; ensuring the council acts within the law; advising the council on all aspects of its work and may have delegated powers of decision making especially in urgent situations. The Clerk can also be the Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) as is the case in Walsham le Willows.

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 also has 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.

Meetings

Parish Council meetings are public meetings and members of the public can attend to observe and are able to make representations to their 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, including an Annual Meeting held in May. Walsham Parish Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Priory Room from 7pm.  If you are interested to listen or speak at the meetings, do please come along. Note meetings currently held online due to lockdown.

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 page of the site.

Special annual meetings

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (AMPC)

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council has to be held on 4th May or 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 Parish Meeting (APM)

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 ‘stalls’ to promote themselves and their work in the village. They will no doubt be touting for new members as well. 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 Clerk is hoping also to prvide a better range of refreshments than has been the case in the recent past.

So if you are new to the village, want to meet people and find out more about village oragnisations, have some good ideas or 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.

Contacts

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
Foxglove Cottage
Crownland Road
Walsham le Willows
01359 258868
Footpaths
Local Heritage
Tree Warden
Councillor Ian Bartholomew
Chairman
2 Upper Meadow
Finningham Road
Walsham le Willows
01359 258349
Councillor Paul Arbon7 Oak Tree Cottages
Finningham Road
Walsham le Willows
IP31 3GA
07901 606 935
Councillor Brian KinnairOld Oak Barn
West Street
Walsham le Willows
01359 259922
Internal Auditor
Play Council Rep
Councillor Nicholas MecrowThornaby House
Summer Road
Walsham-Le-Willows
01359 258243
Litter Picks
Speed Indicator Device data
Councillor Trevor Roberts
Acorn House
Chapel Road
Wattisfield
01359 251144
Emergency Planning
Rep On Community Council
Get Mapping
Litter Picks
VacantVacantStreet lighting Upgrade
Programme

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 Records

black and white graphic black bold lines on white background representing writing on a page

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

IndexMeeting DateRecords
107Remaining Meeting Dates 2021/22Memorial Hall at 7pm second Wednesday of the month.
Please note: May be subject to change depending on venue availability.

14 July 2021
11 August 2021
08 September 2021
11 September 2021 Saturday Annual Meeting of the Parish
13 October 2021
10 November 2021
24 November 2021 Budget setting
8 December 2021 Set Precept
12 January 2022
09 February 2022 Review standing orders and policies
09 March 2022
13 April 2022
30th April 2022 Saturday Annual Meeting of the Parish
11 May 2022 Annual Meeting of Parish Council
10709 June 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
Exercise Public Rights - Unaudited Accounts
District Councillor Report


10626th May 2021 Annual Meeting of the Parish CouncilMinutes
Bank Reconciliation
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
10513 April 2021 Minutes
Year End Bank Reconciliation to 31st March 2021
Internal Control Checks 2020/21
Internal Audit Report 2021
Internal Audit Statement 2021
County Councillor's Report
10409 March 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
10309 February 2021Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Councillor's Report
County Councillor's Report
2018 Play Area Consultation by volunteers
10212 January 2021 Set Precept & PreceptMinutes
Bank Reconciliation
Variance Report

District Council Report
County Council Report
10108 December 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report To Be Uploaded when received
10024 November 2020 Budget MeetingMinutes
9910th November 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report
9828th October 2020Special Meeting to discuss planning application which requires urgent response before next scheduled Parish Council Meeting
Minutes
Application DC/20/04714
9713 October 2020Minutes
Report to Council on Finningham Road Traffic & Parking
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report

9608 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
9511 August 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report

9414 July 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report
County Council Report
9330 June 2020Notice of Public Rights to Inspect Accounts for y/e 31 March 2020

9209 June 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
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.
9012 May 2020 Annual Meeting of the Parish CouncilMinutes
Bank Reconciliation
Internal Audit Report

District Council Report
County Council Report

8914 April 2020Minutes
Bank Reconciliation
District Council Report


County Council Report
Cheques Over £100
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
Cheques 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
Cheques 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
Cheques 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

graphic of a stack of books each a different colour with titles, laws, rules, regulations and compliance

These documents are reviewed and updated annually. There are also some informational documents on the role of a Councillor, elections and legal spending powers.

001Model Standing Orders
002Financial Regulations
003Internal Control Statement
004Data Protection and Document Retention Policy
005Risk Assessment - Financial
006General Health & Safety Policy
007Litter Pick Guidance
008Risk Assessment - Pavement Sweeping
009Disciplinary Procedure
010Grievance Procedure
011Covid Guidance - Litter Pick Volunteers
012Risk Assessment- Litter Pick
013Asset Register
014Marquee Usage Policy
015Suffolk Code of Conduct

Other Documents

Sec.137 Powers under Local Government Act
LTN 8 | Elections
Good Councillor Guide
2007 Village Design Statement
Search the Register of Interests for each of your Parish Councillors