Parish Councils were established through the Local Government Act 1894 to take over the powers and duties previously administered by churchwardens and overseers of the poor. The law relating to the constitution, creation and dissolution of local councils is contained in the Local Government Act 1972.
Scarisbrick Parish Council is a corporate body comprising the first tier of local government. Its purpose is to represent and serve the residents of the parish. It is comprised of democratically elected councillors who are unpaid and serve for a four year term of office. Scarisbrick Parish Council has ten members and employs a part time Clerk to implement decisions. Parish Councils are granted powers by Parliament, which essentially relate to local matters, and include the power to raise money through taxation (the precept) to fund its activities. They can only do that which they are empowered to do by law.
The Chairman gives an annual report on the work of the Council at the Annual Parish Meeting which takes place in May of each year. The Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer to Scarisbrick Parish Council is:
Mrs Judith Smith
Can I attend meetings of the council?
Yes, all meetings of the council are open to the general public (except in very exceptional circumstances) and you are encouraged to attend.
Please note that the meeting venues can change at short notice and are shown on the meeting agendas. Please check before travelling.
Can I speak at the meeting?
You cannot speak while the normal business of the meeting is being conducted. However, provision is made in every agenda for members of the public to address the Council. The Clerk can provide you with details about how this works.
Can I see the minutes of council meetings and other papers?
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2010 you may see and have a copy of the ‘recorded’ information held by the council (unless it is classed as exempt information in the Act). This includes (but is not limited to) agendas, minutes, policies and procedures, and financial information. Much of this is available on this website, any other queries should be addressed to the Clerk. There may be postal and photocopying charges for paper copies and data protection rules may apply.
Do councillors have to declare financial or other interests they have in matters discussed by the council?
Yes. All councillors have to abide by a Code of Conduct which sets out which interests have to be declared. They must also complete a Register of Interests that is open to inspection by members of the public. The Clerk has a copy of the Register which can also be found on West Lancashire Borough Council’s website.
What do I do if I have a complaint against the council?
The Council encourages an informal approach in the first instance. Many issues are the result of a misunderstanding and can be resolved quickly; this also gives an opportunity for the Council to give advice should a complaint need directing elsewhere. We aim to resolve complaints at this stage within five working days. Contact the Clerk or Chairman in the first instance. If this does not resolve the matter (or you don’t want an informal approach), please see the Council’s complaints procedure.
Does the Parish Council have any influence with respect to planning applications?
Scarisbrick Parish Council is consulted by relevant planning authorities on applications affecting the parish. Views expressed by the Parish Council are taken into account before a decision is made but the final decision is made by the relevant planning authority, not the Parish Council.