About Byfield Parish Council

A Very Brief Guide to Byfield Parish Council

villagehall2.jpgThe Byfield Parish Council may have 11 members in total. A new Council is elected every 4 years - next election in 2014. The Council is run on a non-political basis.

Each Councillor has at least one area of responsibility e.g. Planning, Rights Of Way, Council Property, Playground. The Byfield Parish Council also nominates the Chairman of the Brightwell Recreation Ground Association and one other trustee. The Byfield Parish Council nominates a trustee for the village hall management committee and two trustees for the Byfield Combined Charities.

Meetings of the Byfield Parish Council at which decisions are made have to be held in public. However, the Council can meet in private as a Working Party (either all councillors or a few) to discuss topics which are then placed on an agenda for public airing and decision making.

green.jpgByfield Parish Councillors act collectively – no single councillor can make a decision on behalf of the Council or place orders for goods or works. The Clerk has authority to take action in an emergency which may incur expenditure. Such action has to be made in conjunction with the Chairman or Vice Chairman if at all possible.

The full Byfield Parish Council meets once a month on the 2nd Thursday, with meetings commencing at 7.30pm, although the date of meetings in July and August may vary. Additional meetings are sometimes needed to deal with urgent planning applications and, if possible these will be held on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Meetings are usually held in the lower annex of Byfield village hall.

The May meeting in each year is the Annual meeting of the Byfield Parish Council and a Chairman for the coming year is elected at this meeting.

cricket.jpgCouncillors are obliged to agree to abide by a Code of Conduct and to complete a Register of Interests. If a Councillor has an ‘interest’ in any item on an agenda then they should declare such an interest and give the reason for it. ‘Interest’ can be either prejudicial or personal. A councillor with a prejudicial interest may speak on the matter in the same way as any members of the public may, but must then leave the meeting.

Councillors are obliged to attend meetings of the Council unless they have a reason for absence that is acceptable to the Council. Apologies for absence, with a reason, must be given to the Clerk. Acceptable reasons for absence are generally taken to be paid employment, illness, holidays.

Each autumn the Byfield Parish Council decides on the budget for expenditure in the next financial year from 1st April. Councillors can only agree to expenditure that is lawful i.e. for which they have an authority by Act of Parliament.

The Byfield Parish Council has one part-time employee – the Clerk – who is also appointed as the Responsible Finance Officer. She is currently paid for 10 hours per week, including attendance at meetings.

Angela Weller
Clerk to the Council
July 2011