Our Parish Council is a non-party political body which prides itself on focusing on the needs of the community without fear or favour.
The Council meets every six weeks throughout the year. While most of the meetings are staged at West Lane Baptist Church in Haworth, we hold both main council meetings and committee meetings in both Cross Roads and Stanbury on a regular basis.
The Council has important sub-committees who look after specific areas of Council activity including Finance and Overview and Planning while there are also other working groups who suggest policies and make recommendations to the main Council.
The Planning Committee meets every three weeks. It is a statutory body and, while it doesn’t possess any planning powers, it is an advisory body to the Bradford Council Planning Department and Planning Committee.
The Finance and Overview Committee must meet four times a year but often convenes more often. It considers in detail the Council’s financial health and planning and makes recommendations for spending to the Council.
There are eleven elected or co-opted Councillors and we have two part time staff: a Clerk and a Village Warden.
Our Council helps provide ‘seed’ capital for local groups who want to extend their reach or start new activities for the benefit of the community as well as supporting groups who want to establish themselves within our parish.
The Clerk is employed by the Council to provide administrative support and professional advice for the Council’s activities.
The Clerk cannot be self-employed. It is important that Councillors, partner organisations and the local community appreciate the clerk as a professional officer.
The Clerk is not answerable to any indvidual Councillor – not even the Chairman. The Clerk is an independent and objective servant of the Council, recognising that the Council is responsible for all decisions and taking instructions from the Council as a body.
The Clerk is the ‘Proper Officer’. This title used in law refers to the appropriate officer for the relevant function. The Council must appoint officers it needs to discharge its functions. In finance, the Proper Officer is known as the Responsible Financial Officer. The ‘RFO’ is often the Clerk, but not always.
As an independent and objective professional, the Clerk advises the Council on whether decisions are lawful, researches topics of concern and provides unbiased information that helps the Council make appropriate choices.
Legally councils can agree to delegate decisions to the clerks because they are professional officers whos independence allows them to act on behalf of the council.