To promote a better quality of life for all within the parish, strengthening communities through participation and by encouraging a sense of belonging and inclusion.
Councils operate within agreed policy rules, most derived from legislation, and some from nationally circulated codes of practice. It is the Council's responsibility to exercise its powers and duties in accordance with these rules, which are reviewed from time to time - see below for our current schedule. They are advised in their deliberations by the Clerk to the Council, who is also responsible for administration and taking any actions that the Council directs. The Clerk, who is a part-time employee of the Council, is also The Responsible Financial Officer.
The Council regulates its proceedings through Standing Orders. These set out the rules of debate, public and press access, how questions are handled, procedures for electing the Chairman, and for establishing Committees. They are based on a national Model, and can be seen below:
Also based on a national model, these regulations set out how we manage our public funds, arrange banking, and enter into contracts. They can be seen below:
The Parish Council seeks to add value to community life by providing a democratically accountable forum, operating within available legislation, to provide leadership, influence, support and information for all that live, work or visit the parish area. The Council also manages a number of facilities and assets and recognises that it must use its resources economically, efficiently and with due regard for the environment. Through a planning process the Council seeks a shared vision and direction, to protect what is important and consider new ways of getting things done that includes harnessing the skills and talent from within its own communities. Building stronger and more resilient communities means making choices about how the community receives its services from this and other organisations, or even whether some are received at all. By setting out the issues facing it, the Parish Council can plan for the future. Our Policy Statement and the current Plan, reviewed in April 2015, for 2015/2016- 2017/2018 are below:
Our Code of Conduct for Councillors is also taken from a national Model, and is supported by Wiltshire Council, which also provides the local Standards Board to consider complaints. You can see our Code, which deals with both pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests and their declaration, below:
Councillors will have in mind the national guidance prepared for them and contained in the booklet here:
If you would like to make a complaint regarding a councillor and the Code of Conduct then you should follow this link to Wiltshire Council. They manage the procedure for investigation and reporting, on behalf of all Town and Parish Councils in Wiltshire. Their recommendations will be made back to the Parish Council which will consider what steps, if any, are to be taken. This procedure is for individual Councillors, and not used for the Council as a corporate body.
The protocol below, drawn from a national model, covers:
• The respective roles and responsibilities of councillors and the clerk;
• Relationships between councillors and officers;
• Where/who the clerk should go to if they have concerns;
• Who is responsible for making decisions.
Councillors are required to make a declaration of disclosable pecuniary interests, and have volunteered to disclose their non-pecuniary interests, by placing them on a Public Register that is hosted on Wiltshire Council's website. You can view the register for this, and any other parish in Wiltshire, here.
Occasionally, things go wrong and we would like the opportunity to put them right, if we can, as soon as possible. If you would like to make a comment about how the Council has, or has not, dealt with an issue, then you should follow the guidance set out below. Please see the Code of Conduct above, if you wish to make comment about a particular Councillor.
Comments or complaints about the performance of other public services may be received by this Council, and as we provide ‘advocacy’ on behalf of our community we can channel those comments to the most appropriate recipient. To ensure we receive the detail needed to judge how best to handle the matter, it should be received in writing.
The Information Commissioner provides guidance on how Parish Councils may make information available, in order that they can comply with freedom of information law. This Council has prepared a statutory Publication Scheme, which can be seen below. Notices will be deemed to be "published" if placed on this website and/or on the Public Notice Board in West lavington High Street.
The Parish Council is registered with The Information Commissioner because we process personal information. Our registration number is ZA095415 and our Certificate is below. You can see why, how and with whom we share data in an extract from our registration, also below. We process data in accordance with the principles set out in the Data Protection Act. You can learn more here. The authorised Data Controller is the Clerk to the Council.
As part of good governance, the Council has made an assessment of the risks it faces and the likelihood that any of these may impact on its ability to function efficiently. You can see the Council's policy on how it assesses risk below, and also see the Risk Register. The Risk Management Committee meets twice per year to review the Council's risk, and reports its findings to the Council.
The safety of everyone is our first priority. Our policy statement is below, which is reviewed annually. Whilst the Council remains accountable, the Clerk to the Council is the person responsible for putting the policy into practice.
The Parish Council and the Playgrounds Advisory Committee recognise that it is important for children and young people to be able to undertake play activities which have an element of risk attached to them, in order that they are challenged and have the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities.
The policy below explains how that risk is managed, and the procedures for inspecting and looking after the equipment that is provided for everyone to freely enjoy
The Council makes its services, activities and information available to as many people as possible, whilst recognising that everyone is different. The Council seeks to recognise and appreciate the value of diversity that exists in our community and society generally, aiming specifically to promote the inclusion of groups and individuals within our communities that are under-represented, disadvantaged or excluded.
Therefore, we will recognise and promote the importance of equality, diversity and human rights to ensure an inclusive approach in all that we do. Our policy statement is below:
The Council has set out how it will consult on key issues with the communities it serves, and how it will engage with residents, businesses, groups and organisations across the parish. You can see the Policy below. THE HUB and Opinions sought pages will carry announcements as consultations are launched, including how you can get involved.
The Council has set out how it will manage its written communications such as letters, emails and instructions. The Protocol is below:
The Council will establish and maintain internet-based social media sites to create and exchange information between individuals, organisations and communities, recognising that the use of these sites improves the Council’s ability to engage with the communities it serves. Please see our Policy below for the use of social media, which includes rules and etiquette for the benefit of all our users.
The Council now uses Twitter - follow us @westlavingtonpc !
The Council welcomes applications for small grants which can support groups and organisations that make a contribution to our communities. The circumstances in which this may happen, and the procedure for applying is explained in our Policy Statement below: