The Parish Council is the first level of local government and its prime objective is to serve its community. There are about 8,500 such councils in England carrying out a range of responsibilities depending on their size and complexity.
Shotesham has about 500 residents living within a large rural parish and has seven councillors to represent them. These posts are all up for election every four years. If insufficient councillors stand additional members
are co-opted by the Council. All Parish Council meetings are held in public and parishioners are welcome to attend. The agendas for all meeting are published in the notice boards (and in future on this website) a few days before the meetings take place. The minutes of the meetings are available to the parishioners and from now are published on this website once they have been approved.
The Council has several responsibilities and any monies generated are the property of the community and not of the Councillors. It can only spend, raise or use money if it has a statutory power to do so. Councils have a wide range of powers under different acts of Parliament. Most of them are discretionary, i.e. the Council may do something, rather than it must do something. All Councillors have a duty to do what he/she deems best for the community. Party politics play no part in Parish Council deliberations. To finance the operation the Council has the right to raise money from the community by precept [a mandatory demand] which is included in the council tax. Parish Councils play an important role in maintaining and improving local services and facilities, by supporting local voluntary organisations and expressing its collective view on local developments.
The current annual precept is £6,000 [2012/13] and in our case provides the following; public seats, dog bins [and their clearance] , notice boards ,the village sign, the War Memorial and a play area.
One of the Council’s important responsibilities is the scrutiny of all planning applications made in the community; this scrutiny is performed at regular Parish Council meetings. In Shotesham there are six main meetings a year, traditionally held every two months, on the first Thursday in the month, with an additional six to consider any extra planning matters that need comment.
To assist with the ever increasing bureaucracy we have appointed a part time clerk to deal with the legal, financial, and day to day management