What is a Parish Council?
A Parish Council is a statutory local authority set up under the Local Government Act 1972 that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. It is the level of government closest to the community, with the district authority (in our case Newark & Sherwood District Council) above it in the hierarchy. South Muskham and Little Carlton Parish Council has 7 Councillors who try to ensure that the views of the community are taken into account by the authorities, agencies and organisations that make legislation and take decisions on services and issues affecting the community.
Councillors are elected every four years and a clerk is employed to organise meetings, carry out the council’s decisions and give advice on any legal issues or new legislation. (The Clerk, who may be the only paid person serving a council, does not vote or make decisions for the council.) All of the Councillors live within the community and it is easy to contact both them and the Parish Clerk.
As the authority closest to the people, parish councils are invariably the first place residents will go with concerns or ideas. For this reason they are a vital part of any community. Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.
In terms of planning, the Council is invited to give feedback and local advice on planning applications, however the District Council is not obliged to take these views into account when making a decision. The Council can only make comment on 'planning matters' such as the effect on the character of the area, road safety, overbearing impact. The Council cannot comment on issues such as loss of value of a property or loss of a private view as these are not deemed to be planning matters.
This website has a Planning Tracker which is in development and being provided our website host HugoFox. If you wish to make a comment on any planning application, this should be done via the links on the Newark & Sherwood District Council website. A link to the website can be found on the Links page. Please do not use this website for any planning comments you wish to make.
It’s true to say that on their own, parish councils have limited powers to make decisions. But they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as the district council, health authorities, police etc).