Parish, Town and Community Councils in England and Wales have a number of basic responsibilities, including: representing the whole electorate within the parish; delivering services to meet local needs; and striving to improve quality of life in the parish.
County and Borough councils (higher tier authorities) are responsible for providing and maintaining many of the services. Residents, however, may sometimes prefer to contact their Parish Council in relation to local matters because of their smaller, less intimidating size and because they may be more in touch with their community’s needs.
The Parish Council is also the first point of contact for aspiring local projects. It is their responsibility to help get schemes under way by providing initial funding and space for public use.
The Parish Council must be notified of any planning application or highway development planned for the area – which they will then consider and make such comments or representations upon them as they think appropriate in the interests of the community. On some occasions the Council’s approval is also needed for any work to go ahead.
The Parish Council is by law entitled to raise money from the residents of the parish in order to allow them to conduct their business. This sum of money raised is referred to as the ‘PRECEPT’ and it is collected by the Principal Authority (Pendle Borough Council) on behalf of the parish by way of the Council Tax and appears on residents Council Tax bills as a separate item (although collected as part of the whole).
Higham with West Close Booth Parish Council therefore exists to protect the interests of our community, to maintain and improve the quality of village life for all residents and ensure improvements are made whenever appropriate and the budget allows.
We also employ the services of a lengthsman who supports and adds value to existing County & Borough authority services.
The Parish Council is not, however, a clearing house for complaints regarding the service delivery of higher tier authorities which should be normally addressed in the first place to the responsible authority concerned.