Responsibilities & Organisation

The Parish Council exists to represent the interests of the whole Towednack community. The Council is non-party political and is made up of Parish Councillors who are local residents from within the Parish boundaries.

The Role of our Councillors

A Parish Councillor has a varied role depending on his/her particular strengths and interests. All Parish Councillors attend the monthly Parish Council meeting. At this meeting they will discuss all the items on the agenda with the aim of forming a RESOLUTION which will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. When appropriate, a proposal may be made by a councilor, seconded by another and voted upon. The resolution will be formed according to the outcome of the vote. Sometimes decisions will be unanimous and some will be by majority.

Councillors may not always agree with the resolution but if the decision is made by majority then they must abide by the decision.

Towednack Parish is small, but it is surprising at the breadth of matters that come before the council.

Councillors must make themselves aware of all that goes on in the Parish in terms of planning matters, highways matters, environmental matters, this includes our extensive footpath/bridleway network, the maintenance of our verges, community spaces, the Parish Cemetery, the Red River. A lot of knowledge  is required if councillors are able to make effective decisions that may have an impact on the lives of everyone in the community.

Some councillors spend more time on some matters than others and may serve on working parties; for example we have a working party that is carrying out a survey of the Parish footpaths at present. This involves walking every footpath and assessing where improvements can be made, another working party is, through the Parish landscape Plan, looking at how the Parish Council might be able to preserve and enhance bio diversity of species in our lovely landscape.

Anyone who has a passion for the place we live and who wants to help to preserve and enhance our environment and improve quality of life for all who live in the Parish will make a good councillor.

Training is available to all new councillors and there are many opportunities for councillors to become involved with other agencies in the course of their work.

If you are interested in becoming a councillor please contact the Clerk and watch this website for vacancies!

The Role of the Parish Council

The Parish Council exists to represent its Parishioners and to preserve the positive elements of our community and environment whist seeking to prevent those things that have a negative impact upon it.
The Parish Council comprises seven councillors, plus the Clerk. Parish councillors are unpaid volunteers who devote many hours each month to Parish matters.

The Clerk is a paid employee, Proper Officer of the Council and the Responsible Financial Officer
The Council receives a ‘Precept’¹ each financial year from Cornwall Council with which to administer its responsibilities. These include:

  • managing and maintaining the Parish Cemetery as the Parish burial authority
  • managing and maintaining 22,537metres of public footpaths, bridleways and byways and associated gateways and stiles.
  • managing and maintaining (as Trustees) the open space known as Cledry Meadow
  • responding, as a statutory consultee, to all planning applications within the Parish
  • contributing to (and commenting upon) local and national discussions, new legislation etc.
  • considering any initiatives/policies/actions which could enhance community life and the local environment and acting upon them as it considers appropriate.

Details of other Parish Council powers and duties can be found via this link.

Listening to everyone’s concerns, needs and aspirations and having effective communication, within and beyond the Parish, goes to the heart of the Parish Council’s work. If it can get this right, the Parish Council will be well placed to represent Towednack effectively in discussions and negotiations with other organisations, for example our MP, other service providers and neighbouring Parish Councils. The Parish Council, therefore, very much welcomes questions, opinions or concerns from Parishioners and values their presence at its monthly Parish Council meetings.
From time to time, other matters require the Parish Council’s attention, e.g. Health, Welfare, Education, Emergency Services, Emergency Planning, Environment, Countryside and Heritage Groups. In these matters, the Chairman of the Parish Council, may decide that these matters can be dealt with by a ‘Working Party’ which will look at the detail of the matter and make recommendations to the full Parish Council.

Some matters that require ongoing work and attention are dealt with in this way. At the moment the Parish Council has a Parish Landscape Working Party, a Dark Skies Working Party and a Footpath Working Party. These working parties may also comprise members of the public with relevant interest or skills.

The Role of the Parish Clerk

The Parish Council employs a Parish Clerk. The Clerk to the Parish Council is the ‘Proper Officer’ of the Council and as such is under a statutory duty to carry out all the functions, and in particular to serve or issue all the notifications required by law of a local authority’s Proper Officer. The Clerk is totally responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a Local Authority are carried out. The Clerk advises the Council on, and assists in the formation of, overall policies to be followed in respect of the Authority’s activities and in particular to produce all the information required for making effective decisions and to implement constructively all decisions. The Clerk is accountable to the Council for the effective management of all its resources and will report to it as and when required. The Clerk is the Responsible Financial Officer and responsible for all financial records of the Council and the administration of its finances.

¹ The annual precept is agreed each year by the Parish Council and is the amount which it considers is needed to serve the needs of the Parish, including meeting its budgeted expenditure. The precept is the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax collected and is separately itemised on Council Tax bills.

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