What is a Parish / Village Council?
In England, parish councils were formed in 1894 to take over local oversight of social welfare and civic duties in towns and villages. Before this date a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical (church) parishes had responsibility for these matters, in a system of local government that dated back to the feudal system of the 8th century.
Today, the promotion of Local Area Management has led to an increase in the number of parish councils within urban and rural communities. Not every civil parish has a parish council, smaller ones – typically with an electorate under 200 – only have parish meetings.
Parish councils are often confused with the Church of England’s Parochial Church Councils (PCCs), which are concerned with the welfare of a particular religious community. Whilst both Parish Councils and PCCs have common roots in the old vestry system, Parish Councils are a civil body and are not linked to the church.
Great Coates Village Council
Great Coates Parish Council was formed as the result of a request by residents and an election was held in May 2003. Great Coates has 9 councillors and elections to the Parish Council are held every 4 years (the next one being in May 2011).
Councillors come from all walks of life and anyone who lives or works in the Parish, is over 18 years of age and is on the electoral register can become a parish councillor.
At the October 2008 meeting the Parish Council resolved to change its name to “Great Coates Village Council” with immediate effect.
This is allowed under the “Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, Section 75, subsection 3, 5(2c) “….. “the appropriate parish authority may resolve that the parish shall have one of the alternative styles …..” – and one of the choices allowed is “Village Council”.
The reasons behind this resolution are that often a Parish Council is confused with the Parochial Church Council (the executive body of a Church of England parish). We felt that a change of name would better reflect our involvement with the village in its entirety.
The Village Council meets once per month and is the link between residents and North East Lincolnshire Council. We are statutory consultees on planning applications within the Village and also for those which affect us.
The Village Council represents residents on the Humber Chemical Focus Liaison Group, the Town & Parish Liaison Committee (with NELC) and the Police Authority PACT meetings. We are also a member of ERNLLCA (East Riding and North Lincs Local Councils Association) which provides training, advice and guidance.
We have a good working relationship with our local Police Community Support Officers. They are always invited to our meetings to give a report and if duties prevent them from doing so, will send a written report.