Local Council duties

Your Local Council must….

A local council has surprisingly few duties, but a number of powers.  The only things it must do are:

  • Comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
  • Comply with the Data Protection Act 1998
  • and comply with the Equality Act 2010
  • Comply with employment law
  • Consider the impact of their decisions on reducing crime and disorder in their area
  • Have regard to the protection of biodiversity in carrying out their functions
  • Consider the provision of allotments if there is demand for them from local residents and it is reasonable to do so
  • Decide whether to adopt a churchyard when it is closed, if asked to do so by the Parochial Church Council.

It must also ensure that all the rules for the administration of the council are followed.

The council must:

  • Appoint a chairman of the council
  • Appoint officers as appropriate for carrying out its functions; in a smaller council this is the clerk
  • Appoint a responsible financial officer (RFO) to manage the council’s financial affairs
  • Appoint an independent and competent internal auditor
  • Adopt a Code of Conduct (see below)
  • Hold a minimum number of four meetings per year, one of which must be the Annual Meeting of the Council, held in May.

A council’s powers are listed here but which ones it takes on depend on the services  provided by other bodies and the size and resources of the parish.

Allotments

These are plots of no more than 220 sq yards cultivated to produce vegetables or fruit for personal consumption.  A local council has to formally consider a request by six or more electors under the Allotments Act. 

In Bainton & Ashton these are provided to the east of the parish on the south side of Helpston Road and are managed by an Allotments Association on behalf of the council. 

Most are in use as full or half-plots and, subject to demand, they are available to people from within and outside the parish at a very reasonable annual rent.