Responsibilities & Policies
Responsibilities, Powers and Duties
Old Cleeve Parish Council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny.
Most of the funds your Parish Council has to spend come from local taxes raised from our community – called the ‘precept’. The precept is the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax, as collected by Somerset West and Taunton District Council.
We will also campaign for the preservation and improvement of services and facilities. Where funds allow, your Parish Council will support local community activities and events.
Parish Councils have a variety of powers and duties, all of which impact directly on the community. We act on your behalf on matters of planning, highways, footpaths and bridleways, signage, traffic calming, drainage, verge maintenance, litter, provision and maintenance of public conveniences, public benches, bus shelters, village greens and community play areas, playing fields, general spending and crime prevention.
The Parish Council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic.
The Parish Council’s role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning.
Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.
We will consult parishioners whenever it is deemed appropriate, but are always available to discuss any community issues. The organisations that make the final decisions know that the Parish Council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something and its views will be taken very seriously.
Standing Orders are the written rules of Old Cleeve Parish Council. They are used to confirm the Council’s internal organisational, administrative and procurement procedures and procedural matters for meetings. They are not the same as the policies of a Council but they may refer to them. This set of Standing Orders does not include those for Financial Regulations. These can be viewed under the appropriate heading.
Meetings of full Council, Councillors, the Responsible Financial Officer and Proper Officer are subject to many statutory requirements. Old Cleeve Parish Council has Standing Orders to confirm those statutory requirements and has Standing Orders to control the number, place, quorum, notices and other procedures for committee and sub-committee meetings because these are subject to fewer statutory requirements.
Code of Conduct for Councillors
The Ethical Framework
Old Cleeve Parish Council is obliged to adopt a Code of Conduct which sets out rules governing the behaviour of their Members (Councillors) and satisfies the requirements of the Localism Act 2011.
All elected, co-opted and independent members of local authorities, including Parish Councils, are required to abide by their own, formally adopted, code. The Code of Conduct seeks to ensure that members observe the highest standards of conduct in their civic role. The code is intended to be consistent with the seven principles of conduct:
- Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
- Integrity – Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
- Objectivity – In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
- Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
- Openness – Holders of public office should be as open as possible about the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
- Honesty – Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
- Leadership – Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership, and by example, and should act in a way that secures or preserves public confidence.