Parish Councillors

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Dazer
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Parish Councillors

Post by Dazer » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:25 pm

Not gardening related, but does anyone know what "appointed member" means in the context of a parish council code of conduct applying to "co-opted members and appointed members" in addition to elected members? If a member is not co-opted or elected, does that just leave lay members who might be appointed to a council committee - so they are termed "appointed members"?

thanks

andrew54
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by andrew54 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:22 pm

Dazer wrote:Not gardening related, but does anyone know what "appointed member" means in the context of a parish council code of conduct applying to "co-opted members and appointed members" in addition to elected members? If a member is not co-opted or elected, does that just leave lay members who might be appointed to a council committee - so they are termed "appointed members"?

thanks
As a parish councillor myself, I have never heard of this. My guess is that appointed members are people appointed by some other body. For example a representative of the county council might be appointed. I don't think members of the public can do anything other than be elected or co-opted.

It might be referring to parish councillors who are appointed to represent the parish council on outside bodies, for example the local Civic Society.

Janieb
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by Janieb » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:38 pm

I am also a Parish Councillor. We have elected and co-opted members of the council. The members of the committees are made up of councillors. However we also have "working parties" that are sort of committees run by the council but can and are usually set up to include other members of the parish who have an interest and expertise in the subject the working party is set up for. These are appointed members and in this situation will have a vote. In any other situation they won't.
"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest" Alexandre Dumas (fils)

andrew54
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by andrew54 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:50 pm

Janieb wrote:I am also a Parish Councillor. We have elected and co-opted members of the council. The members of the committees are made up of councillors. However we also have "working parties" that are sort of committees run by the council but can and are usually set up to include other members of the parish who have an interest and expertise in the subject the working party is set up for. These are appointed members and in this situation will have a vote. In any other situation they won't.
We also have council working groups, but we co-opt members of the public and yes they can vote. I guess that either your council or ours is using the wrong word, so is probably breaking the law! Hey ho.

Dazer
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by Dazer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:50 pm

Thanks for the replies. The wording in question is - "The code of conduct applies to co-opted members and appointed members, as well as elected members." That wording seems to identify a class of member which is not co-opted or elected. If a parish council is going to appoint a lay person to a committee, perhaps particularly a planning committee, should that lay member be subject to any obligation to disclose personal interests? If he is commenting on an application or advising other members then I would hope that there is some duty to disclose a conflict of interest - either the lay member himself has the duty, or there is a duty on the council to ensure that its advisor discloses conflicts.

cheers

hzatph
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by hzatph » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:15 pm

The responsibility is always on the member to disclose any interests and it would apply to all members including co-opted and elected one.

jencast
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by jencast » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:24 am

I have a couple of questions regarding parish councilors and the transparency of their decisions when it comes to supporting or objecting to planning applications. I realize they don't have much input in terms of planning law, but can they be held accountable for applying the same rules when it comes to supporting or objecting to an application? Who besides the public, oversees the fairness of their decisions?
Although my planning ap was approved by the borough council, it did have to go to committee. This hearing cost us L 500 for our planning consultant to attend. Yet a few months later, a similar ap 200 yards down the street was supported despite the parking issue in the village. I just want fairness for all planning aps in the village, rather than cronyism. Everyone from the parish council to the councilor seem to be "passing the buck", without any straight answers.

andrew54
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by andrew54 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:33 pm

jencast, as a parish councillor myself I see this from the other side. I know an awful lot of people in our town (are they my cronies?) and I feel I can be fair with all planning applications we comment on. Knowing when to declare an interest is tricky. Basically no one oversees parish council decisions, but our town clerk and my fellow councillors are aware of each other's actions and would lot let things get out of hand. Then the public do attend our meetings and do sometimes report us to the borough council for investigation.

I also attend many meetings of the borough council planning committee. And I know many councillors on that committee.

I feel everyone does their best, but it might not be all that good. Decisions can depend on which councillors actually turn up on the day.

If you have questions feel free to ask.

Janieb
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by Janieb » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:06 pm

jencast wrote:Although my planning ap was approved by the borough council, it did have to go to committee. This hearing cost us L 500 for our planning consultant to attend. Yet a few months later, a similar ap 200 yards down the street was supported despite the parking issue in the village. I just want fairness for all planning aps in the village, rather than cronyism. Everyone from the parish council to the councilor seem to be "passing the buck", without any straight answers.
All planning applications have to be heard by the Planning Committee. The ones that don't aren't planning applications but are permitted development overseen by Building Regulations. I don't know why you needed your planning consultant to attend, the only time we have them attend a planning committee is for a large development. I very much doubt that there was cronyism, just different councillors with different points of view on that particular day.

Parish/Town Councillors are unpaid volunteers and the committees have no real clout when it comes to decisions. If the parish is lucky their local District/Borough Council/Unitary Authority will take their points of view into account, but in reality they don't have to.

These Parish/Town Councillors are also residents of the parish and will have the interests of the parish in mind but as humans will have different views on what is best. As residents they will also know a lot of the other residents.

I will say the same as I say to the critics of our Town Council, if you don't like our decisions join the council and make a difference yourself.
"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest" Alexandre Dumas (fils)

MacadamB53
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by MacadamB53 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:39 pm

Hi Janieb,

Parish/Town Councillors are unpaid volunteers and the committees have no real clout when it comes to decisions. If the parish is lucky their local District/Borough Council/Unitary Authority will take their points of view into account, but in reality they don't have to.

in reality the views of the parish/town council DO HAVE to be considered.

Kind regards, Mac

jencast
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by jencast » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:53 pm

Thank you, I will ask the questions of this small village parish council. None of these questions are intended to diminish the work that the pc does, as I know it can be quite a thankless job. I would actively participate in the parish council but as a non citizen, I have read, I could not hold a position.
I just don't understand the pc saying they will object to every planning ap if it impacts the village parking after such and such a date, then all of a sudden support an ap from a property 200 yards away, a few months later, with a simple note of concern regarding parking!
Could it be that the other ap is submitted by the village cricket team chairman while I just inherited our village property and only be in the village for the last 12 years?
If we can't rely on transparent decision making, then what good is a parish council not govern by a code of practice and guidelines? Their decision was overruled by the borough council anyway, but their actions just didn't seem fair.
They were dismissive when I suggested a site visit to become more informed before they came to a decision. The borough council did come on site before they made their decision to support it.
They discussed a prow when it was clearly a private civil issue that should NOT have impacted their planning decision.
Why not involve active community members with business interests in the village along with working professionals as well as residents?
You mention that the public and the parish clerk can attend as watchdogs, but our planning subcommittee meetings are held in the middle of the day when the working public can not attend.
Why not post these planning subcommittee meetings in advance and in public?
So many questions make me wonder about fairness, intent, and protectionism for all of us in the village.

MacadamB53
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by MacadamB53 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:59 pm

Hi jencast,

I just don't understand the pc saying they will object to every planning ap if it impacts the village parking after such and such a date, then all of a sudden support an ap from a property 200 yards away, a few months later, with a simple note of concern regarding parking!

maybe they implemented a change in policy?

Kind regards, Mac

andrew54
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Location: north yorkshire

Re: Parish Councillors

Post by andrew54 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:18 pm

Janieb wrote:
All planning applications have to be heard by the Planning Committee. The ones that don't aren't planning applications but are permitted development overseen by Building Regulations.
Wrong. If we ignore the development done under permitted development we are left with the proper Planning Applications. With most Planning Authorities only some of the applications go to committee, the rest are decided by officers and the head of planning under delegated authority. Around here a new house will go to committee - a large extension will probably be decided under delegated authority, and a small extension might come within permitted development.

Having said that, one large extension was decided by committee yesterday.

andrew54
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Re: Parish Councillors

Post by andrew54 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:24 pm

jencast wrote: Why not involve active community members with business interests in the village along with working professionals as well as residents? .....
It would be good if these sort of people became councillors, but we can't force them.
jencast wrote: You mention that the public and the parish clerk can attend as watchdogs, but our planning subcommittee meetings are held in the middle of the day when the working public can not attend.
People can take a day off work. And many people work shifts.
jencast wrote: Why not post these planning subcommittee meetings in advance and in public?
By law all parish council meetings and committee meetings have to be advertised in some way, usually putting an agenda on a noticeboard several days in advance.

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