About The Council
Parish Councils are the first tier of local government and the closest to the community they serve. They are elected bodies with statutory and discretionary powers and rights to represent their communities and provide services for them. The number of councillors is fixed by the local Borough or Unitary Council.
Local councils are represented nationally by the National Association of Local Councils which has a network of county branches. The Association offers extensive training and support for Local Councils and their Clerks through county based Training Partnerships.
By law there are certain obligations which a local council must fulfil. For example:
- It must hold an annual meeting
- It must hold at least three other meetings a year
- It must appoint such officers as it believes necessary for the proper discharge of its functions (this may be a Councillor unpaid, but in common practice is a Clerk and/or Treasurer)
- It must make Standing Orders
Holmes Chapel Parish Council and Holmes Chapel Partnerrship have created a vision for Holmes Chapel which is used as a guide to look at the future of Holmes Chapel.
Holmes Chapel Parish Council and Partnership Strategy
Holmes Chapel Parish Council and Holmes Chapel Partnership exist to enhance the community and infrastructure of the village. We will encourage community spirit and community participation in everything we do.
Holmes Chapel will be a vibrant and prosperous hub of the local rural community, offering an attractive place to live, work and play for people of all ages.
The strategic focus to deliver and achieve our vision will be:
- To provide a sustainable living environment which embraces the local infrastructure and surrounding countryside
- To promote a prosperous local economy
- To encourage culture, recreation and sport
- To maintain a healthy and safe environment
- to encourage a community spirit and community participaation
The Parish Council has created a business plan and project index which can be accessed by clicking on the relevant phrase. Notes on the Preparation of the 5 year Capital Plan and Project Planning can be viewed here. The business plan links to the budget agreed for 2016 -17 and the project index identifies the proposed time scale for each project. In addition a risk management scheme is updated each year which can be accessed here.
Holmes Chapel has 12 Parish Councillors each of whom is elected for a term of up to four years by the electors of the parish. The Statement as to Persons Nominated for the current term (2015-2019) can be accessed here. A statutory annual meeting is held in May at which the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Council are elected by the Council members at the start of the civic year which runs from May to April.
The Council has two part time employees – the Clerk and her Assistant. The Clerk achieved her Certificate in Local Council Adminstration in 2011 which allows the Council to apply for Quality status. She is also a member of the Society of Local Council Clerks which holds regular training sessions in order to keep up with leglislation. She is currently treasurer of the Cheshire branch of the SLCC.
The Clerk is responsible for carrying out the work of the Council and is known as the Proper Officer and Responsible Finance Officer. She and the assistant run the Parish Council office. They have no power of delegation other than for emergency work as set out in the Financial Regulations which can be viewed under Standing Orders. (see above).
The Council is audited each year, in accordance with the specifications of the Audit Commission on section 4 of the Annual return for Local Councils in England and Wales. The Internal Audit Report for 2015/2016 can be accessed here.
Holmes Chapel Parish Council supplements local government services provided by Cheshire East Council and in addition promotes and represents the village with other national and statutory bodies. Councillors regularly give talks to community groups in the village including the WI, Probus and schools.
For example, the Parish Council acts as a consultee and lobbying force putting forward the wishes and needs of the local community to both regional government in the form of Cheshire East Council and national government via its Member of Parliament.
Local Councils act as a sounding board for local opinion and have important rights of consultation. County, District and Unitary Councils are obliged by law to consult the Local Council on certain matters affecting the parish.
Cheshire East Council consults with the Parish Council on such subjects as the Local Development Framework, Strategic Plans, the Local Transport Plan, and planning applications within Holmes Chapel.