The Parish Council
We aspire to engage with residents, understand their needs and address where possible with the resources and powers available. We aim to work with local organisations and agencies to provide high standard, cost-effective services. We try to encourage and promote the economic and commercial vitality of the Parish through partnerships and other means. Most of all we embrace progress in a bid to improve the quality of our residents’ lives and healthy living standards.
What is a parish council?
A parish council is a civil local authority found in England and is the lowest, or first, tier of local government. They are elected corporate bodies, have variable tax raising powers, and are responsible for areas known as civil parishes.
Civil parish councils are separate from Parochial church councils which administer parishes of the Church of England.
What is the role of our parish council?
Old Woughton Parish Council’s primary function is to represent the interests of the community it serves. It is dedicated to improving the quality of life of its residents and the local environment. Its role is to work with Milton Keynes Council, other parishes and bodies such as the Parks Trust and the Canals & Rivers Trust, to influence decision makers in order to deliver the best possible services to meet local needs. The parish council is legally responsible for providing land for the use of allotments and the maintenance of the war memorial. In response to residents’ needs, we also provide a dog and litter bin service.
An important element of this task is to scrutinise planning applications and, after due consultation and consideration, to submit a recommendation to the Planning Authority (Milton Keynes Council) to assist it in its decision-making process. To find out about current planning applications in the parish go to the MK Council website and enter the parish name in the search criteria.
How is Old Woughton Parish Council funded?
The Parish is funded out of what is called the precept which is paid by each household as part of their Council Tax. In the case of OWPC, we have one of the lowest precept charges in the MK area.
We can also apply to Milton Keynes Council for grants to support specific projects.
How is the Old Woughton Parish Council Managed?
The parish council consists of 9 elected councillors whose term of office is 4 years. A Chair is chosen each year to act as team leader. Each councillor volunteers to manage one or more tasks that comprise our portfolio of responsibilities. A professional Parish Clerk is employed to manage the administration including the finances and to act as the prime point of contact both within the parish and externally. We use a single, cloud-based IT system that provides information security and supports efficient business processes. Communication to our residents are effected by a website, noticeboards and regular newsletters and we welcome feedback in all forms.
Do OWPC Parish Councillors get paid?
Parish Councillors voluntarily give their time, effort and experience to serve the parish. Within this parish we do not claim allowances.
How do I become an OWPC parish councillor?
Initially contact the Clerk for information. This is a voluntary role, there are no qualifications or training required although some basic training will be offered should you accept the position. Tell the Clerk why you would like to be a parish councillor – what skills you can bring for example or reasons why you are interested. Don’t forget to add your address, as to qualify you must live within 3 miles radius of the parish. If there are vacancies you could be invited for an interview. If not then your details may be kept on file for future opportunities.
Another good source of information about parish councils is the Milton Keynes Council; Parish, Town and Community Councils hub here.