Westcott Parish Council works toward improving community well being and providing better services at a local level. Our activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community; delivering services to meet local needs; striving to improve quality of life and community well being.
Parish (and Town) Councils are the most local level of government in England. They are independent of other levels of local government, i.e. District and County Council, however they maintain a close working relationship with both. The powers of Parishes vary depending on how large and how active they are. The Parish Council Clerk is the only paid member of the Council, all of the councillors are elected volunteers.
Through an extensive range of discretionary powers Westcott Parish Council provides and maintains a variety of important and visible local services.
The following are all under the remit of Westcott Parish Council:
· Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria
· Bus Shelters
· Drainage – of ditches and ponds
· Entertainment and the Arts
· General Spending – parish councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list
· Gifts – parish councils may accept gifts
· Highways – lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of parish council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance
· Land – acquisition and sale of
· Legal proceedings – power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry
· Litter – provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns
· Planning – parish councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area. Any comments submitted to the planning authority by the parish council must be taken into account
· Postal and Telecommunication Facilities – power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing services in that area
· Public conveniences – provision and maintenance of public toilets
· Recreation – provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds
· Rights of Way – footpath and bridleway maintenance
· Seats (public)
· Signs – danger signs, place names and bus stops signs
· Traffic Calming
· War Graves
· Water Supply – power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use.