What is the parish council?

The parish council consists of 14 elected parish councillors, who give their time as volunteers, and one part-time paid employee, the parish clerk, who acts as a contact point, and carries out the administration and keeps the accounts.

What is the parish council doing now?

In 2014, the PC produced a Parish Plan, following a consultation process that involved all residents. This Plan has given the PC a mandate to pursue a number of objectives, see the Parish Plan page , and completed objectives include a booklet of walks see Footpaths page ,
and a monthly community lunch see Events page .

What is the PC’s role in planning matters?

The PC is contacted about planning applications in its area, and members have 3 weeks to formulate comments which are then submitted by the clerk as the parish council response, to be taken into consideration by the planners, and by the planning committees.
see current and previous local planning applications here

The Parish Council has collated some guidance here about responding to planning applications

Herefordshire Council page giving advice and guidance about commenting on planning applications

Paid contractors

The PC employs two paid contractors: a Lengthsman who works in the 4 parishes for about 150 hours per year maintaining minor and unclassified highways, see Highways page , and a contractor to carry out some footpath maintenance work (known as a P3 contractor). From April 2018, the Lengthsman is entirely funded by the PC. The P3 contractor is funded by a grant covering three quarters of the cost, with the remainder being paid by the PC. The administration of both these posts is carried out free of charge by a PC member, which makes the available money go further.

How can I be involved with the parish council?

All PC meetings are open to the public, and all PC members are available to be contacted about any local issues.

How do I become a parish councillor?

Elections take place every 4 years on the first Thursday in May and the last one was on 7th May 2015 but we had fewer candidates than places, so the election was uncontested. The next election will be on 2nd May 2019. Anyone resident who is on the electoral roll can stand for election as a parish councillor and nomination forms will be available from about March 2019 – the parish clerk can give advice. However, we are looking for a parish councillor now, to represent Sarnesfield – you are eligible if you live in Sarnesfield parish, or within 3 miles of the parish boundary. As we are between elections, the parish council has the power to co-opt a new member who comes forward.

How is the parish council funded?

From residents’ council tax. You will see that part of your council tax is listed as “parish precept”. In the year 2017/18 this parish council is running on a budget of £4,300 which is shared between the council tax payers according to their property band – band D households are paying £17.58 per year to fund the parish council – those on lower bands are paying a bit less, and those on higher bands pay a bit more. Parish councils can also apply for other funding, such as grants and awards, and this parish council has been fortunate in receiving donations to help with the work arising from the parish plan. Examples:
The Sarnesfield notice board was part-funded by a grant.
The new benches in Kinnersley have been funded by donations.

What has the parish council done in the past

Anyone waiting for a bus at the “Weobley turn” or the “Letton turn” benefits from the bus shelters provided by, and maintained by the PC. It was the PC that initiated 50mph speed limits through Letton, Kinnersley and Norton Canon.

Further information

More detail, and reference to the legislation that governs parish councils can be found here