Role and Duties
Parish councils have a variety of powers and duties, all of which impact directly on the community.
A Parish Council is the first and most local tier of Government. Romsley is one of twenty Parish Councils within Bromsgrove District Council.
The Parish Council has a role in consultation with Bromsgrove District Council and Worcestershire County Council in certain areas and also the opportunity to influence those bodies for the benefit of the parish.
The Parish Council is funded through the Bromsgrove District Council by the `precept` which is part of the Council Tax. The Parish Council is accountable to external audit for monies spent.
All councillors are obliged to follow the Council Code of Conduct and the Parish Council follows rules, regulations and procedures as laid down – ultimately by Central Government.
In certain areas of activity the Parish Council may act alone. However, this must be in accordance with the local Government Plans and within the legal powers imposed by Acts of Parliament.
The following are all under the remit of local councils:
- Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria
- Bus Shelters
- Bye-laws – the power to make bye-laws concerning:baths and washhouses (swimming pools), cycle parks, mortuaries and pleasure grounds
- Clocks – public clocks can be provided and must be maintained
- Community Centres, Conference Centres, Halls, Public Buildings
- Drainage – of ditches and ponds
- Entertainment and the Arts
- General Spending – parish councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list
- Gifts – parish councils may accept gifts
- Highways – lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of parish council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance
- Land – acquisition and sale of
- Legal proceedings – power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry
- Litter – provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns
- Planning – parish councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area.
Any comments submitted to the planning authority by the parish council must be taken into account
- Postal and Telecommunication Facilities – power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing services in that area
- Public conveniences – provision and maintenance of public toilets
- Recreation – provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds
- Rights of Way – footpath and bridleway maintenance
- Seats (public)
- Signs – danger signs, place names and bus stops signs
- Tourism – financial contributions to any local tourist organisations allowed
- Traffic Calming
- War Memorials
- Water Supply – power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use