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What the Parish Council does

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What is the Parish Council?

Councillors are democratically elected from people who live or work in the area and a parish council is the first tier of local government. Councillors are unpaid, but supported by a paid 'officer'; the parish clerk.

A proportion of Council Tax goes to the parish council in the form of a 'precept' to provide services which the councillors run. A parish council will also seek grants from funding bodies to progress initiatives. 

What does the Parish Council do?

Curry Rivel Parish Council owns and maintains Westfield recreation ground, Eastfield and the Cemetery. It also owns the War Memorial, Grannie's Garden and the Car Park. 

The parish council has a number of assets in the village including two bus shelters, public seating and bins. The council also maintains the village green, mows the churchyard and funds Curry Rivel in Bloom.

Curry Rivel Parish Council is active in working on a number of initiatives such as Active Travel, Climate and Traffic with the aim of protecting (and improving) the environment for the benefit of local residents.

The parish council owns the Allotment and this is let to  Heale Lane Allotment Association  who are responsible for running it on behalf of the community of users.

An important function of the parish council is to work closely with Somerset Council departments to represent the views of the the village on matters such as planning applications, highways, public rights of way and so on.

The parish council sets aside a modest proportion of its budget to give back to community orgnisations as grants.

What happens at a meeting?

Parish council meetings are held in public and anyone is welcome to attend and observe them. The purpose of a parish council meeting is primarily to make decisions and this is done by councillors proposing, seconding and then voting on the action to be taken.

A member of the electorate may  contact any councillor   to raise an issue and the Councillor may then request for that item to be placed on the Agenda if a decision needs to be made.

At the start of each meeting members of the electorate are invited to speak in 'Public Time' for up to 3 minutes on matters that affect the village. This is your opportunity to raise any concerns, or provide feedback to the parish council. However, as Councillors are only permitted to make decisions about matters actually on the Agenda it may not be possible for the Councillors to discuss or progress your issue that day. 

Somerset Council Councillors try to attend the parish council meeting when they can do so to provide an update to councillors and the community. Information about them is  at the end of this page.

Once the meeting has started parishioners may not speak (unless invited to do so by the chairman). Members of the public may leave the meeting room when they wish to.

Agendas and minutes are displayed on the parish noticeboard by the One Stop shop. They are also available on the Agenda and Minutes page.

Who can be a Parish Councillor?

A person is qualified if they are a British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen and on the relevant day (that is, the day of nomination and election) they are 18 or over. In addition, they must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • on the relevant day and thereafter they continue to be on the electoral register for the parish, or
  • during the whole of the twelve months before that day they have owned or tenanted land or premises in the parish, or
  • during the whole of the twelve months before that day their principal or only place of work has been in the parish, or
  • during the whole of the twelve months before that day they have resided in the parish or within three miles of it. Except for qualification (1), these qualifications then continue for the full term of office, until the next ordinary elections. Certain people are disqualified from standing, and these include paid officers (including the Clerks) of the council, bankrupts and those subject to recent sentences of imprisonment.

Curry Rivel Parish Council consists of 9 councillors and occasional vacancies are usually filled by "co-opting" a new member as and when someone is found who is willing to become a councillor.

If more people put their name forward that there are vacancies (or if ten or more parishioners request an election) then councillors are appointed by election.

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