About Us (Parish Council Q & A)

 Chairman  Parish Clerk  Vice Chairman

Mrs Sue Anderson

Holly Cottage
Wilstead Road
Elstow, Bedford
MK42 9YD 

Tel 01234 309280

Mrs Lizzie Barnicoat

PO Box 1548
Bedford
MK44 5AX

Tel 01234 771702

 Mr Tony Hare

2 Melrose Drive
Elstow
Bedford
MK42 9FH

Tel 01234 358883

 

 

Parish Council Information
Q. What does the Parish Council do?

A. The Parish Council looks after issues of direct concern to village residents,and is responsible for a number of local services, including:

Roadside seats
Bus shelters
Litter bins and litter picking
Dog waste bins
Play equipment

In addition, the Parish Council works in partnership with the County Council to maintain and improve the public footpaths in the village. It liaises with the County Council and the Borough Council on matters that are their responsibility, such as abandoned cars and the state of the roads and footways.

It also considers and responds to local planning proposals and other matters that might affect the lives and well-being of residents.

There are a number of committees. The members work as small teams and report at each meeting of the Parish Council. The committee structure reflects the areas of activity that we undertake and details are listed below.

 

Q. And who pays?

The cost 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.

In addition the Parish Council regularly submits bids for grant funding from various organisations and local authorities. Recently we have been awarded sums to help fund the new village hall and provide new equipment in the play area.

All Parish Councillors carry out their duties at no cost to local residents, although we are investigating claiming travel expenses

Q. Who is on the Parish Council?

A. Like all other local authorities (eg Borough and County Councils), Parish Councillors are elected every four years. If there are the same number of nominations as there are 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.

Click the "Parish Councillors" button for a list of the present councillors, along with details of the committees they are on.

In addition to the councillors, there is a Clerk to the Parish Council who is the only formal employee, on a part-time basis. The Clerk deals with the business of the council, and is usually the first point of contact for residents and outside bodies. The Clerk's contact details are detailed above


Q. Where does my Borough or County Councillor fit in?

A. Local government is organised in tiers; County Councils look after education, social services and roads, Borough Councils look after housing, pavements, some street lighting, planning and environmental health. Each Borough or County Councillor attends Parish Council meetings regularly (some Parish Councillors are Borough councillors also) to keep the Parish Council informed about what they are doing and to take back issues we might raise.

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 on the website, and village notice boards. These meetings are normally held in the Playing Fields Association committee room.

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 of interest to them in the 'Open Forum' part of the agenda. In exceptional circumstances might also be invited to comment on an agenda item where appropriate. If they have particular concerns that they would like to raise and have put on the agenda for discussion by the Parish Council as a whole, then they should contact a member of the council or the Parish Clerk. Generally they are only allowed to speak during the open forum.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, the minutes are public documents and will be available after the subsequent meeting once they have been agreed. We are endeavouring to prepare a short note about its contents shortly after each meeting, for publication on the website

Q. What if I have a problem with something the Parish Council is doing?

A. You could contact the Clerk if it is a matter of process and you are not sure how to go about it, or if you need to inform us about something that the Parish Council should discuss. If you have a complaint about a policy of the council you should contact the Chair of the council; if it relates to one of the committee's activities, then you can contact the spokesperson (S) for that committee, who is likely to know most about the issue. You can also contact any Parish Councillor.

This Q & A page is a modified article reproduced by kind permission of Wilsted Parish Council