About The Council
Swanwick Parish Council is part of local government in Derbyshire together with Derbyshire County Council and the Amber Valley Borough Council.
Derbyshire County Council is responsible for strategic services such as highways, education, libraries, social services, strategic planning and refuse disposal.
Amber Valley Borough Council are responsible for local services including housing, local planning, environmental health and refuse collection.
Parish and Town Councils are viewed as the part of government closest to the people. They are the only local government tier that represents residents at parish level. Importantly Parish Councils can ‘precept’ - raising a council tax each year to improve facilities and services for local people. Their powers and duties cover many things that we take for granted in making for comfort and well being where we live. They include the provision and maintenance of allotments, recreational and open spaces, halls, litter bins, street furniture, rights of way, seasonal flower displays, Christmas lights, organisation of community events and supporting local organisations.
Parish Councils also comment on planning applications and can be represented at public inquiries. Similarly they advise the County and District authorities on the views of residents, and especially priorities for local investment.
All Parish Council meetings are in public. They are led by the Council’s Chairman and advised by a Clerk who is there to see that business is conducted within the law.
All Swanwick Parish Council Meetings are advertised on the Parish Council notice boards located throughout Swanwick and under the Meetings tab.
What can I expect from Swanwick Parish Council
Your elected Councillors are here to make a difference. There are 11 Councillors serving the Parish of Swanwick, They are elected to serve for four years (unless co-opted) and at the end of that period they should be able to look back on a range of achievements that had their basis in a plan for the Parish. Examples for Swanwick might be:-
* Successfully obtaining grant funding for improvements to the Play Areas.
* Campaigning for a better environment, road safety and reducing the fear of crime
* Being represented at a local planning inquiry
* Maintaining and preserving Swanwick’s village street scene
* The provision of allotments
* Represent you in important local issues that involve you
* Provide communication with Swanwick residents through the provision of the website, social media, newsletters and a village guide
* Increases in events to bring the community together
* Liase with The Police to reduce anti-social behaviour
* Examine proposed new legislation for Parish Councils to ensure that it provides real benefit to Swanwick residents
* Continue to manage the Parish Council's budget and reserves in a responsible manner and to the benefit of Swanwick residents
Vitally your local council makes a difference by making your views known to other bodies and councils e.g. when being consulted about planning issues or changes in services.
Can the Parish Council help?
You may wish to bring certain issues and concerns to the attention of one of your Councillors. Your Councillor will bring this to the attention of the Council and invite the Clerk to respond to you directly, or you can contact the Clerk who can provide a wide range of advice and if not able to deal with your enquiry personally, can often help you to find the right organisation to deal with your problem or queries.
Did you know that Swanwick Parish Council can give grants to a wide range of local organisations? Details on how to apply are contained in the Grant Awarding Policy found under the Governance tab..
What are the hallmarks of a good council?
Imaginative agendas, encouragement of open debate and getting people involved are the hallmarks of an achieving council. Your Council will work to a set of standards, for example:-
* Meetings must be in public and agendas published.
* There will be rules of business conduct, finance and personal conduct of Councillors.
* Communication and consultation policies will be in place.
* Forward planning and budgeting of future projects will be a regular feature of meetings and dealings with the community.
* The Council will work in harmony with other groups in the Parish.
The Parish Clerk
The role of the Clerk is to administer the Council’s business and advise on the work the Council wants to do. The Clerk is often the first point of contact for the Council. You can expect a courteous, timely and friendly response.
Should I get Involved?
Most people care about where they live, the quality of the local environment and the small things that we take for granted but are important for a balanced, high quality lifestyle.
Getting involved helps your local council to know what you feel and need. Better still getting involved adds your skills and know how to the Parish Team effort.
Swanwick Parish Council will hope you take an interest and ask questions about the things that matter most. It’s helpful to attend council meetings where there is a ‘public participation’ item on the agenda. Swanwick Parish Council welcomes your contribution.
If you like being involved in community issues then why not consider being an elected Councillor—joining the decision making team. Parish elections happen every 4 years and in between there may be elections to fill casual vacancies. No formal qualifications are needed but there are rules to satisfy if you are to be a Councillor.
How much time will it take?
All Councils must meet at least 4 times per year. Swanwick is a very busy Council and meets formally once a month except August. Want to know more then contact the Parish Clerk.