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Rampton & Woodbeck Parish Council

Serving the people of Rampton & Woodbeck

Clerk: Mr Ed Knox
24 Allison Avenue, Retford
Nottinghamshire DN22 7JS

Tel: 01777 711579

Frequently Asked Questions

Are meetings public?

All parish council meetings are open to the public, however, certain agenda items may be closed to the public (including staffing matters) but a note will be placed on the agenda to advise.

It is now regarded as best practice for councils to have an agenda item where members of the public are permitted to put questions to the council. Please see our public participation policy for further details.

All meetings are advertised on the parish noticeboards and this website. Residents can bring to the attention of the parish council anything that concerns them, in writing or email via the clerk. If matters raised are not the responsibility of the parish council, the clerk will advise you which authority to contact.

Council tax increase?

Whilst this year's rise (2018-19) shows on the Council Tax Statement as 124%, it is deceptive because the monetary rise is small. approximately £6 (Band D) or £4 (Band A) per month.This is still an average sized precept for Bassetlaw and cheaper than several of our neighbouring Parishes. You can find further information here.

Does a parish council need to have a vice chairman?

No; there is no legal requirement to have a vice chairman, though is is best practice to have one. They will act as Chair if the Chairman is unavailable

Does the Parish Council have to have a Chairman?

A parish council must have a Chairman. He or she is elected annually at the Annual Meeting of Council in May (LGA 1972 sect 15(1). The council cannot function without a chairman. If no members of the council will take the role, then the meeting will have to be abandoned. A further meeting can be called to try to resolve the situation, but if this fails, then the district of borough council has reserve powers and can intervene.

A 'retiring' chair can preside at their own re-election, can nominate them self, vote for them self, and use their casting vote in their own favour.

How is the Parish Council funded?

The funding for parish councils is allocated by the district council and is taken from the area's council tax; this is called an annual precept. The income and expenditure for the next financial year are calculated in the form of estimates and this amount is added to the local council tax and then returned to the parishes in two yearly installments. We are particularly lucky to own land and buildings which reduce the amount of precept we levy on the council tax, in 2018 we were able to reduce the precept we required from £112 at Band D to £72.

How long does a Parish Councillor serve for?

Once elected Parish Councillors sit on the council for a maximum of 4 years at the end of which they can stand for re-election if they wish. If, during the 4 years, they find they can no longer meet the commitment, or they move away, they can stand down.

How long should minutes of the parish council be kept?

These should be kept indefinitely as archive materials. Once approved and signed as a correct record they are acceptable as evidence in a court of law.

What are Councillors?

A a Parish Councillor you become somebody who members of the community will look to for help, guidance and support, a community leader with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the people they serve. Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you have helped to make, is something that can a sense of achievement and pride.

To qualify to be a parish councillor you must be:

  • A registered local government elector within the parish.
  • At least 18 on the day of being nominated as a candidate.
  • A British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union.
  • A resident in the parish, or within three miles of the parish, or working full time in the parish for at least 12 months prior to the nomination or election day.

A person is disqualified from holding office as a parish councillor if:

  • They hold a paid office, or other place of profit in the council.
  • They are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order.
  • They have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to more than 3 months imprisonment within the last five years.
  • They incur illegal expenditure (when acting as a councillor) of over £2,000, or are found guilty of using corrupt or illegal practices.

What are Parish Meetings?

Where the population of a parish is very small, there may be no Parish Council, but electors may still meet together as a Parish Meeting. Parish Meetings have a number of powers and rights of notification or consultation.

Also each Parish which does have a Parish Council must hold an Annual Parish Meeting each year, required by law to hold it between 1 March and 1 June. It is not a Parish Council meeting but a meeting of the local electorate to discuss and hear about local issues. At Rampton & Woodbeck we hold it in May, usually on the same night as the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council

What are the most common Statutory Powers of Parish Councils?

Local Government Act 1972
s.101Assume a function delegated by another authority
s.111Ensure effective discharge of council functions
s.112Employ someone to carry out council functions
s.124Buy or lease land for the community
s.142Publicise council and local authority functions
s.144Encourage tourism
s.145Provide entertainment
s.150Raise money by precept (Council Tax)
s.175Train councillors
s.214Assume responsibility for a closed churchyard
s.222Make representation at public enquiries
s.226Acquire historical records
Sch.13Borrow money
Sch.16 para 20Comment upon planning applications
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953
s.4Provide bus shelters
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
s.19Provide or support recreational facilities
Open Spaces Act 1906
s.9Acquire and manage any open space including valuable habitats.
s.10Administer open space held in trust
Provide lighting for any open space
Commons Act 1899
s.5Manage common land
Public Health Act 1875
s.164
(see also LGA, 1972 sch.
14 para 27)
Acquire and manage land for a village green
Provide parks, pleasure grounds, public walks
Make bylaws to prevent dog fouling or to ban dogs
Public Health Act 1961
s.54Provide a boating lake
Public Health Act 1936
s.87Maintain public toilets
s.125Use a local water course to obtain water
s.260Maintain a local water course
The Countryside Act 1958
s.27Erect signs for a right of way
Highways Act 1980
s.30Create a right of way
s.43Maintain a right of way
s.96Plant verges with trees shrubs and bulbs (with Highways Authority consent)
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
s.57Take action to relieve traffic congestion
Provide Parking facilities
Parish Councils Act 1957
s.1Provide roadside seats (with Highways Authority consent)
s.3 (see also LGA 1972 Sch14, para 34)Provide lighting for footways and public places
Litter Act 1983
s.5Provide litter bins
Smallholding and allotments Act 1908
s.26Provide allotments
s.34Acquire land for common pasture
Local Government (Records) Act 1962
s.1Make community records available to the public
s.2Purchase records of local interest
s.4Support local archives
National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949
s.16Make agreement with English Nature to manage council-owned land as nature reserve.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981
s.39Local authorities make management agreements with landowners
Environmental Protection Act 1990
and
Litter (Animal Droppings) Order 1991
Must keep own land free of litter and dog faeces

What Facilities do we offer?

Parish councils have powers to provide some facilities themselves, or they can contribute towards their provision by others. There are large variations in the services provided by parishes, but Rampton & Woodbeck Parish Council is involved in the provision of:

Village Hall, Pinder Park, Post Office, Land let for Farming, Street Cleaning/Litter Picking & Support and encouragement of community events.

What happens when there is a Councillor Vacancy?

Where a vacancy occurs during the term of a parish council, it may be filled by either bi-election or co-option. Elections only occur if, following the advertisement of the vacancy for 14 days, 10 electors send a written request to the returning officer. The cost of a Bi Election is in the region of £5,000 and funded by the the people via the Precept if a bi-election occurs.

If no request is received, the parish council may fill the vacancies by co-option. Rampton & Woodbeck Parish Council has a Co-option Policy to follow in these circumstances.

What is a Parish Council?

Parish councils are a form of Local Government being the first tier of local and community consultation. They are democratically elected Local Authorities and exist in England, Wales and Scotland.

Parish and Town Councils, often known simply as "local councils" exist in many English Parishes. They vary from councils based in small rural villages to ones serving large urban areas with thousands of electors.

The "parish council" is a civil organisation and should not be confused with the term "parish church" or "parochial church councils" that administer parishes of the Church of England. Civil parish councils were formed in England under the Local Government Act 1894 which developed the civil structure from the previously ecclesiastical parishes.

A parish council makes decisions on behalf of the people in a defined and bounded locality deemed to be "the parish". As the parish council is the authority closest to the residents of that locality they usually operate as the first place people will go with concerns or ideas and for this reason are a vital part of any community.

What is NALC?

NALC is the National Association of Local Councils is the only body in the country specialising full-time in the work of local councils. The Association`s advice and guidance to member councils is based on more than 50 years experience acting solely in the interests of its member councils. NALC takes an enthusiastic role in protecting and advancing the rights and interests of member councils in the Government, main political opposition parties, parliament, in the local and national press, and in liaison with other bodies such as the Standards Board, Local Government Association, Audit Commission and the Commission for Rural Communities.

NALC is committed to making this primary level of local government more effective, more democratic and better able to take a leadership role in local communities.

Membership of the National Association of Local Councils is through the County Association.

Rampton & Woodbeck Parish Council is a member of Nottinghamshire NALC

http://www.nottsalc.org.uk/

Nottinghamshire ALC

  • Provides guidance to its members on conducting their business lawfully, with advice available on a wide range of issues covering statutory duties and powers, correct conduct of business within the ethical framework, employment law, empowerment and various other topics
  • Runs training courses for clerks and councillors on a wide range of subjects to promote good practice and governance
  • Provides information updates on legislative changes and other issues of relevance to members
  • Administers the Local Council Award scheme
  • Responds to consultations on behalf of member councils and represents the interests of its members by commenting on proposals for new legislation and other statutory documents

What is the 6 Months Rule affecting Councillors?

If a parish councillor fails to attend any meeting of the parish council (or its committees) or a meeting where he or she formally represents the council, for a period of 6 months, without submitting apologies for absence which are properly approved by the council, then he or she automatically ceases to be a parish councillor on the 6-month anniversary of their last attendance, and a casual vacancy must be declared. It is vitally important to note that simply recording apologies does not of itself automatically signify that they have been approved by the council. Long absences must received proper approval before the 6 months are up. Once the 6 months has passed there is nothing further which can be done - the councillor has ceased to be a councillor. This is not a matter for the parish council to decide upon, only to record the facts of the matter.

Therefore, if a councillor is likely to be absent for a long period of time - perhaps through ill health - then the reason for the absence should be formally approved (if the council so wishes).

What is the limit of Section 137 Expenditure?

The Department for Communities and Local Government has confirmed that the appropriate sum for parish councils in England for the purposes of section 137(4) (a) of the Local Government Act 1972 ("the 1972 Act") for 2018-19 it is £7.86 x per head of the electorate in the parish (695) = £5,462.70

What is the purpose of a parish council?

The primary purpose of a parish council is to represent the concerns of local residents and provide some services to meet local needs. Parish councils have a wide range of powers which may include looking after community buildings, play parks, street furniture and land.

The most common areas that Parish Councils get involved in include planning issues, managing open spaces and village halls. It is fair to say that on their own Parish Councils have limited decision-making powers, but they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those organisations that do make final decisions, such as District and County Councils, health authorities etc. These authorities know that a Parish Council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something and its views will be taken seriously.

What is the quorum for a meeting of the council?

A minimum of three or a third whichever is the greater.

Where are the closest allotments?

Bassetlaw District Council provide various allotments at approximately 12 pence per square metre around Retford & Worksop. In addition to the Allotments provided by Bassetlaw, the closest allotment's to Rampton & Woodbeck are located in East Markham & Tuxford and provided by their Parish Council's.

The East Markham Parish Council website states:

The allotments are situated at the eastern edge of the village close to the sports field and the railway line. Access is from Trinity Crescent.

There are 26 allotments and 1 or more may currently be vacant and available to rent at any time. The rental period commences 1st April in any year. The annual rent is currently just £1.00 but please bear in mind that there is no water on site and you may need to install rabbit-proof fencing to protect your crops plus fruit cages, greenhouses, sheds etc. Allotment holders are not permitted to keep any animals on the site.

Keen gardeners may wish to join the East Markham Gardeners Association (EMGA). The association hosts shows, arranges garden visits, and provides discounted gardening supplies at the trading barn.

For further information about the allotments and EMGA, contact Stuart on 01777 871491.

Tuxford Town Council:

The allotments are located on Lodge Lane, and in 2014 the hire rates were £20 per plot (£12 for over 65's). Further details contact: Tuxford Town Council 01777 870192

Dunham-On-Trent Parish Council:

Has two small allotments in the village, which are currently tenanted.

Who decides if a councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest?

The individual Councillor.