A parish is the smallest administrative unit within the hierarchy of local government i.e. counties, districts and parishes. Snitterfield is one of 109 parishes within the Stratford-on-Avon District, which in turn is one of 5 districts within the County of Warwickshire.
The electoral roll is updated annually and all registered adults over the age of 18 are entitled to vote in Parish, District, County and national elections.
It is a generally held view that national party politics have no place in parish council activities. Snitterfield Parish Council is solely concerned with local people, local issues and ensuring that the interests of the village as a whole are represented to the District and County councils.
What does the Parish Council do?
Parish councils have statutory rights to undertake a wide range of activities although many choose not to exercise all of their powers. Snitterfield Parish Council takes total financial and management responsibility for
- Playing fields & play areas
- Open spaces
- Snitterfield Village Hall
- Village amenities (benches, bus shelters, provision of dog waste bins, etc)
- Street lighting maintenance where it affects pavements
- Liaison with footpath authorities (Rights of Way)
- Communications (website, noticeboards etc)
In addition, Snitterfield Parish Council is involved in all of the domestic and commercial planning applications that affect the parish. It should be recognised, however, that this is only a consultative role and that all comments and/or objections must be based on planning rules rather than aesthetic judgement.
Parish councils also act as an interface between the village and local government agencies and service providers, especially the police, highways, water, and environmental authorities.
Finally, Snitterfield Parish Council can work with and encourage other village organisations to achieve their individual objectives.
How is the Parish Council funded?
There are three sources of external funding available to the Parish Council – precepts and grants from the District Council and loans from a range of sources.
Precepts are, in effect, local community charges raised on behalf of the Parish Council by the District Council as part of their annual Council Tax charges each year. The Precept covers items such as street lighting, grass cutting, the community centre, play areas, minor running costs and repairs around the village as well as the clerk and her office.
Grants can be obtained from the District Council for carrying out work that they would otherwise have to organise themselves.
Loans are normally avoided; however, in some instances, such as the purchase of land, this may be the only practical option available to the Parish Council.