What is a Parish Council?
A parish council is the lowest or first tier of local government and, consequently, its powers are fairly limited. Unusually, in Herefordshire, there are only two tiers, the second of which is Herefordshire Council.
Shobdon Parish Council has seven members, two above the required minimum, and their term of office is four years. If more than seven parishioners put their names forward at an election, there must be a poll (as happened last time). If fewer than seven names are put forward, the members have the power to co-opt any person to fill the vacancy. Parish councillors are entirely voluntary and unpaid. However, the Parish Council appoints a paid clerk, whose duties include dealing with correspondence and looking after the finances, setting and publishing the agenda and providing minutes.
The Chairman is elected annually at the Annual Parish Council Meeting; also appointed is a vice-chairman.
In addition, there is an Annual Parish Meeting, when the Herefordshire Ward members and representatives of the police attend and answer questions. Usually, there is some major topic of interest to the parishioners up for discussion.
Powers and Duties
Parish councils have the power to precept (tax) their residents to pay for what they do and to carry out local projects. There is no limit to the amount that can be precepted, but money can only be raised for a limited number of purposes, as laid down by law. By looking at minutes , attending meetings or asking questions, any parishioner will soon understand what the Parish Council can or cannot do.
What are we responsible for?
Shobdon Parish Council owns a diverse range of assets around the village which presently includes:
- Seating (At Arches, Hanbury Green, Barr Meadow)
- War Memorial (At top of Ledicot Lane)
- Cider Mill & Press (Hanbury Green)
- Notice Boards (Hanbury Green, Shop)
- Community Area and Car Park (Barr Meadow)
- Bus Shelter (Moor Meadow)
- Fixtures and Fittings (in Village Hall)
- Storage Sheds (Village Hall)
- Litter Bins (Around Village)
- Laptop computers, printer & projector (with parish Clerk)
The Parish Council is also responsible for Grass Mowing in the village at Barr Meadow and Hanbury Green (Moor Meadow is responsibility of Herefordshire Council), together with Roadside maintenance to roadsides (except B4362 - again Herefordshire Council)