What is a Parish/Town Council?

Perhaps we should first ask, are we a town or a parish?

Ingleby Barwick is a parish within Stockton-on-Tees Borough. With all the residential development of the past forty years, the original small community has grown to such an extent that the built-up area, now known as a town, is virtually congruent with the parish boundary; Ingleby Barwick town is thus also Ingleby Barwick parish, and the former parish council is now a town council.

A parish/town council is the lowest, or first tier, of local government. It serves the residents within a defined geographical boundary, known as a parish; it is the most local level of government and thus closest to the community it serves. Its main role is to exert influence on the decisions of the local authority, (who are above it in the hierarchy of government), health authorities, police etc.

A parish/town council is a statutory body, whose councillors are elected by those people in the parish who are on the electoral roll. Parish/Town Councillors live or work in the parish and are elected to serve for four years. Ingleby Barwick Town Council is entitled to have twelve councillors. If fewer than twelve people stand for election, all who stood for election are automatically deemed to have been elected; the new town council has the power to co-opt sufficient others to make up the required number of Councillors. Each year one of the elected Town Councillors is elected, by their peers, to serve as Chairman, who also holds the office of Mayor.

What does a Parish/Town Council Do?

A parish/town council has an overall responsibility for the well-being of its local community. Its work falls into 3 categories:

  • Representing the local community
  • Delivering services to meet local needs
  • Striving to improve the quality of life in the parish.

There are some things a parish/town council must do, they are mandatory, i.e. required by law.
A parish/town council must appoint such officers as it believes necessary for the proper discharge of its functions. Our town council has two such officers, the Town Clerk, who works full-time, and a part-time Administrative Assistant.

The Clerk’s role is:

  • • to advise town councillors on legal matters, ensuring that their decisions are lawful;
  • • to provide administrative support, such as setting the agenda and, where relevant, producing papers in support of
       items on the agenda;
  • • to draft the minutes of town council meetings;
  • • to implement any action points arising from the meetings
  • • to ensure that the town council has appropriate and up-to-date policies and procedures in place and
  • • to organise the Annual Town Meeting.

In Ingleby Barwick, being only a small town, our clerk is also the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) and has responsibility for managing the Town Council’s money, issuing, managing and monitoring contracts and completing and forwarding the Annual Accounts to the auditors.

A parish/town council must hold an Annual Parish/Town Meeting, an Annual Meeting (at which the Chairman is elected, and the Internal Auditor appointed), and at least three other meetings a year. In practice, at Ingleby Barwick, we meet every month, except for August.

A parish/town council must have Standing Orders and Financial Regulations for the supply of goods and services to the parish/town council. Standing Orders cover the way in which parish/town councils work, for example how decisions should be made, and Financial Regulations do likewise for Finance. Our town council also has a number of Policies and Procedures which reflect changing legal requirements and good practice.

Mandatory duties also apply to other levels of local government. For example, a parish/town council must be consulted by the local authority (i.e. it is a statutory obligation) on: local Planning Applications; Highways/Road Safety issues; long term planning and wider community involvement strategies.

Parish/town councils also have discretionary powers, i.e. things that they may choose to do. For example, a parish/town council has the powers to provide and/or maintain some of the following:

  • • allotments
  • • bridleways & footpaths – to maintain
  • • burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria - to acquire and maintain
  • • bus shelters
  • • car, cycle & motor-cycle parks
  • • closed churchyards
  • • commons/village greens
  • • community centres
  • • community transport schemes
  • • conference facilities
  • • crime reduction measures
  • • drainage – ponds & ditches
  • • entertainment – provide and also support the arts
  • • gifts – to accept
  • • grants to local community organisations – to provide
  • • land – to acquire or dispose of
  • • leisure facilities – to provide
  • • lotteries – to promote
  • • play areas/play equipment
  • • public baths & washhouses (swimming pools)
  • • public buildings and village hall – to provide for public meetings
  • • public clocks
  • • roadside seats/shelters
  • • tree planting, grass verge layout & maintenance
  • • to maintain, repair, protect and alter war memorials
  • • to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water from them

It can also work with its local authority to provide other services, for example:

• litter/dog waste bins
• local youth projects
• public toilets
• street cleaning
• street lighting
• tourism activities
• traffic calming measures

A parish/town council also has the power to make Bye-Laws in regard to pleasure grounds, open spaces/commons/village greens, cycle parks, baths and washhouses, and burial grounds.

Where does the Town Council’s money come from?

Each year the parish/town council asks for a sum of money, called a 'precept', (a mandatory demand), which is collected through the local council tax. Town Councillors must decide, usually around the end of the calendar year, what they intend to do in the next financial year, and cost this. They then hold a special meeting to look at the total costs of everything they need or wish to provide and how these will be funded (i.e. produce a ‘budget’). This budget is used to identify how much they will require as the ‘precept’ for that year.

Other sources of income include grants - for example, we might apply to the National Lottery, or a local charitable trust, for funds to undertake a specific project. A parish/town council may also take out loans, e.g. from a bank or from government (though we would always need to have a VERY good reason for doing this and be able to demonstrate how we would repay the money borrowed and how quickly).

This year, 2018, Ingleby Barwick Town Council successfully applied to borrow money from the Public Works Loans Board, to build a second Community Centre in Ingleby Barwick. To do this, we had to draw up a very detailed Business Plan, showing how much the building would cost and how we would be able to repay the loan over a 25-year period.

Council Information

The Town Council of Ingleby Barwick consists of twelve members, elected every 4 years. Six of these members are drawn from the east side of Ingleby Barwick and six from the west side. The next election will be held in May 2019.

When a vacancy occurs between elections, the elected members may agree to co-opt a new councillor who will stand until the next election.

Whether to be elected or co-opted, vacancies for town councillors are advertised on this website, on the notice boards outside Beckfields Community Hall and in the Library and by Stockton Borough Council.

It is recommended that anyone interested in becoming a town councillor contacts the Town Clerk in the first instance.

Ingleby Barwick Town Council meets monthly, except for August, when there is no meeting. Meetings are normally on the second Wednesday of the month, except when this clashes with a meeting of the Borough Council, when our meeting is held on the third Wednesday instead.

The agenda for the upcoming meeting is posted, at least three clear days in advance, on the two noticeboards and on this website.


Council Meetings
Agenda Minutes
Town Council Meeting 5th December 2018 Link Link
Town Council Meeting 14th November 2018 Link Link
Extra Ordinary Town Council Meeting 1st November 2018 Link Link
Town Council Meeting 17th October 2018 Link Link
Town Council Meeting 12th September 2018 Link Link
Town Council Meeting 18th July 2018 Link Link
Town Council Exempt Meeting 11th July 2018   Link
Town Council Meeting 20th June 2018 Link Link
Town Council Meeting 30th May 2018 Link Link
Town Council Meeting 18th April 2018 Link Link

      Please note minutes shown in RED are yet to be approved.

Annual Town Meetings
Agenda Minutes
Annual Town Meeting 30th May 2018 Link Link

       Please note minutes shown in RED are yet to be approved.

Committee Meetings
Agenda Minutes
Personnel Committee Meeting 24th September 2018 Link  
Personnel Committee Meeting 6th September 2018 Link Link

       Please note minutes shown in RED are yet to be approved.

Transparency! 30th September 2018

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 was introduced to place more power into the hands of citizens in order to increase democratic accountability.

Transparency gives local people the tools and information they need to hold public bodies to account, especially in the way that public monies are spent.

For Transparency to be effective, the public needs to be able to access this information easily.

Ingleby Barwick Town Council is committed to making information about our activities and decisions available to the public, with due regard to data protection legislation. This website will therefore provide up-to-date information on:

  • The names and contact details of Members of the Town Council and its Clerk
  • All policies and procedures adopted by the Town Council
  • Committees of the Town Council
  • Agendas and Minutes of meetings of the full Town Council and its sub-committee(s)
  • Financial information.

The full Transparency Code is available on request.

Data Protection30th September 2018

An essential activity for any organisation is the collection and retention of accurate information about those who manage, provide or use the organisation's services. A town or parish council, like all other organisations, and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018, has a duty to ensure that any personal information about staff, councillors and people who use or provide our services, is gathered and processed in accordance with the highest standards.

Ingleby Barwick Town Council recognises its moral duty to ensure that all such data is always handled properly, and confidentially, irrespective of whether it is held on paper or by electronic means. This covers the whole cycle of data collection - obtaining, maintaining and destroying personal data, including security of personal data use.

The Town Council also has a responsibility to ensure that anyone whose personal information we hold, has appropriate access, upon written request, to details held about them by the Town Council, and requests will be dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. To this end, the Town Council has adopted a number of policies and procedures related to the gathering and retention of personal information, and its accessibility.

Ingleby Barwick Town Council will only keep information about you in order to:
• provide you with the services you require, and to
• provide you with information about these services.

The information we hold about you will only be used for the reason it was obtained.

Ingleby Barwick Town Council does not share or transfer this information to third parties, other than those involved in the delivery of services to you, in which case you will be asked for your permission, beforehand, to do so.

If you do NOT wish Ingleby Barwick Town Council to hold your details on file, please contact the Town Clerk, in writing. If we do not hear from you, this will be interpreted as an acceptance, on your part, of that you are willing to allow us to keep your data on file.

Declarations of InterestUpdated 30th September 2018

Under the Code of Conduct, Town Councillors are required to register any interests they may have which might influence their dealings as a Town Councillor.

Each Town Councillor must complete and sign a Declaration each year which must be published by the Town Council so that is it available for inspection by members of the public.

The following are the 2018 Declarations made by Ingleby Barwick Town Councillors:

  • Barnes, Stefan
  • Bowman, Thomas
  • Emmerson, James
  • English, Philip
  • Kenyon, Anne
  • Kirby, Jean
  • Patterson, Ross
  • Patterson, Megan
  • Rutland, Jenny
  • Strike, Ted
  • Thomas, Cheryl
  • Watson, Sally Ann

More information can found be visiting Stockon Borough Council's website

EAST WARDUpdated 24th September 2018
Councillor Stefan Barnes Chairman/Town Mayor 2017/2018
Councillor Tom Bowman
Councillor Philip English  
Councillor Jenny Rutland  
Councillor Ted Strike  
Councillor Cheryl Thomas  
WEST WARD24th September 2018
Councillor James Emmerson Vice Chairman/Deputy Town Mayor 2017/2018
Councillor Ann Kenyon
Councillor Megan Patterson
Councillor Ross Patterson
Councillor Sally Ann Watson
Councillor Jean Kirby (Co-Opted)
 
Paula Hall  
Office Address:
Ingleby Barwick Town Council
Barwick Lodge
Ingleby Way
Ingleby Barwick
TS17 0RH
Tel: 01642 308665
Email:town.clerk@inglebybarwicktowncouncil.org.uk

The Good Councillors Guide – Essential guidance for parish and town councillors’ has been published. This revised and updated fourth edition is a welcome and an essential resource for new and established councillors but also for those thinking about becoming a local councillor. It looks at new powers that local (parish and town) councils have after the Localism Act 2011 came into force as well as councillors responsibilities; what they can do and must not do; processes around meetings; delivery of service; and lots of tips explaining in simple terms the broader world of local government.

A copy of the guide can be downloaded from here

Article sourced from www.nalc.gov.uk