The Parish Council is the smallest and most local tier of government. It offers an opportunity for discussion and decision on matters which affect a parish, and which can be influenced within and by representatives of that parish.
Small parishes are frequently combined for this level of government and for this reason Winforton, Whitney-on-Wye and Eardisley have been grouped together to be governed by the Eardisley Group Parish Council (EGPC or PC).
Councillors are elected by residents of the 3 parishes, every four years. The PC addresses issues such as housing – in the form of planning applications, – traffic management, and the care of the environment – particularly verges and ditches. This decision-making process is not necessarily straightforward. For example, planning decisions can be influenced by the PC but are finally made at County Council level. Also, the management of the 'A' roads passing through our three villages is under the jurisdiction of County and National Governments.
The PC manages the ‘precept’ which is a sum of money collected annually by means of the Council Tax, and which must be spent by the PC for the benefit of the communities under its jurisdiction. The precept currently stands at £7,000 and can be raised for specific purposes.
The Council meets bi-monthly, or 6 times per year. The PC’s administration and financial function are managed by a Parish Clerk who is trained for this role. The PC’s Clerk is Sue Brown. The code of conduct to which councillors and clerk work can be viewed here.
Some of the work of the PC is conducted in committees, for example the Planning Committee which meets to look at planning applications and then makes recommendations to the PC. In certain circumstances, the PC may ask an external group to do a particular piece of work on its behalf. An example of this was the Parish Plan Committee, consisting of residents of all 3 parishes plus PC representatives, which in 2003-4 researched and wrote the Parish Plan for the PC.