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Meet The People

The Councillors

Anglesey Parish Council has 11 Councillors all of whom work on a voluntary basis. No Councillor has the right to act individually; collectively they work as “the council”.

The last elections (May 2019) returned a full complement of individuals. When a Councillor leaves (for whatever reason) the vacancy is advertised allowing the parishioners to ask for a by-election to be held. If this is not requested the Council is able to “Co-Opt” to fill what is known as a Casual Vacancy. Currently (Autumn 2020) there are 3 such vacancies on the Council. Council is currently inviting applications from anyone interested in being considered for the position. Contact the Clerk for more details.

The Clerk

The Clerk is an employed position. As an Officer of the Council the role is to support Council in delivering its functions. Another Officer specifically required is the Responsible Financial Officer who manages the finances of the Council. Anglesey Parish Council employs a single individual to fill both roles.

A Young Parish Council

Anglesey was one of eight new parishes formed in Burton on Trent on 1st April 2003 following East Staffordshire Borough Council’s decision to parish the town centre. The first meeting of the Council was held on 5th June in the Blantyre room in the Town Hall. Four Councillors attended the meeting and Cllr Tariq Hussain was elected as the first Chairman. The Minutes of the first meeting record that the initial precept had been set at £7,000 for the financial year to 31st March 2004; £3.42 for a Band D Council Tax payer. There was no Clerk at that first meeting. The administration was being carried out by Peter Davies, East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Principle Officer (Corporate & Member Support) and the Minutes record that “… the Parish Council would, in principle, be prepared to enter into joint arrangements with other Parishes in Burton upon Trent with a view to sharing a Clerk.”

Parish Councils Today

Structure

A parish council is a legal entity, separate from its members. The “Corporate Body” is made up of a number of individuals, elected to serve as “Councillors”. The Corporate Body makes the decisions, not the individual Councillors.

This elected body is the first tier of local government; the level closest to the electors. East Staffordshire Borough Council is the second tier locally and Staffordshire County Council is the third. The top tier is in Westminster – the Government.

The other tiers, “Principal Councils” have many legal duties; things that they must do. Parish Councils are much freer, there are few duties but plenty of powers available to take actions for the benefit of the local residents.

Anglesey Parish is served by eleven Councillors elected by the residents. Elections are held every four years; the most recent elections were in May 2019

Function

A council can only do things that it has the power to do. The parish council has the authority to raise money through taxation (the “Precept”) and then spend this “public money” within the powers granted to it by Government.

The “job” is to represent the interests of the whole community of Anglesey. The law gives local councils few duties but these it must do. Some are a compliance role; some require specific information to be published. Council has to consider the impact of its decision on reducing crime and disorder; protect biodiversity and provide allotments or maintain a closed churchyard if the residents request these.

To help it to function efficiently the Council must elect a Chairman and appoint officers to carry out Council’s functions. A Code of Conduct for its Members has to be adopted.  It has to hold a minimum of four meetings a year.

These rules, plus other local regulations adopted to guide the Council’s procedures, make up the council’s “Standing Orders”.

A Brief History Lesson

Parish Councils were created by the Local Government Act 1894. They provided an institution with a civil origin and status to pick up the role previously undertaken by earlier parish authorities (often the church or squires of villages). Their creation was controversial and the subject of many of the 800 amendments that took a whole year to be dealt with before the Act was passed.

Pre 1974 there were 3 kinds of parish:

  1. An Ecclesiastical parish with a parochial church council
  2. An Urban parish with no function other than rating
  3. A Rural parish as an administrative unit but only in rural areas.

From 31 March 1974 things changed and urban and rural parishes became a single unit.