What is a Parish Council?

It is a statutory local authority set up under the Local Government Act 1972. It operates in the area of a defined civil parish or group of parishes.

In Hertfordshire there are three tiers of local government – Hertfordshire County Council, District Councils and Town/Parish Councils. Elections to parish councils are held every four years.

Parish Councils are an essential part of the structure of local democracy and have a vital role in acting on behalf of the communities they represent. They –

  • give views, on behalf of the community, on planning applications and other proposals that affect the parish
  • undertake projects and schemes that benefit local residents
  • work in partnership with other bodies to achieve benefits for the parish
  • alert relevant authorities to problems that arise or work that needs to be undertaken
  • help the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities.

What powers do Town and Parish Councils have?

They have a wide range of powers which essentially relate to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open space, allotments, play areas, street lighting, bus shelters, car parks and much more.

The Council also has the power to raise money through taxation, the precept. The precept is the parish council’s share of the council tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority, the District Council, which collects the tax for the Parish Council.

The Government introduced the Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme in 2003 with the aim of encouraging Councils, on behalf of their communities, to have a greater say in the running and improvement of local services.

Information from the Parish Council

Details of information available from Benington Parish Council under the model publication scheme can be obtained here

Benington Parish Council meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of every other month. All meetings start at 8.00 pm except the Annual Parish Council Meeting in May which commences at 7.30pm and is followed by the Annual Parish Meeting. These dates may be subject to change – please check near the time.

The Agenda for each meeting is posted on the website and on all three notice boards in the village.

Residents are welcome to attend the meetings (but do not have an automatic right to speak). If you wish to put a point to the meeting, please contact the Chair or Clerk of Benington Parish Council at least 3 days before the meeting.

Annual Parish Council Meeting
This meeting takes places in May and is a formal meeting to re-elect the Chair and Vice Chair as well as encompassing routine Council business. Residents are welcome but cannot participate

Annual Parish Meeting
All Parish Councils throughout England are required by law to hold an annual parish meeting at this time each year. The purpose of calling this meeting is so that the Council can explain what it has been doing over the last year, and it enables the electors to have their say on anything which they consider is important to the people of Benington. An elector may also make suggestions and comment on anything pertinent to the Parish of Benington. This will be welcomed and is the whole purpose of the meeting.