When did Parish Councils start?
Parish Councils were formed in England in the Local Government Act of 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. Prior to this date, a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical parishes had responsibility for these matters in a system of local government that originated in the feudal system of the 8th century. The 1894 Act also helped to break the power of the Church of England over the lives on non-conformists, with the transfer of all non ecclesiastical functions to elected parish councils.
The role of parish councils was not defined particularly well, so difficulties continued until the 1972 Local Government Act was passed. This, along with other legislation, forms the structure under which all parish councils operate today.
How long does a councillor serve?
The term of office of a parish councillor is 4 years, and councils are elected en bloc – the most recent election was in May 2011. There are 6 seats on Breinton Parish Council. If you are interested in becoming a parish councillor then please contact the clerk for further details.
Breinton Parish Council raises money through the ‘precept’ which is collected from Breinton residents by Herefordshire Council, along with the council tax. This is then paid to Breinton Parish Council in 2 equal instalments each year.
How the Precept is used
The Parish Council has power to provide various facilities, but apart from the salary for the clerk (who deals with all the admin and correspondence), over recent years, the precept has been spent on various items to include the annual firework party, donations to the church for the upkeep of the churchyard, and publication costs of the Village magazine, Teamtalk, to ensure this is delivered to every household in the parish.
The parish council also pays a lengthsman to carry out works along the footpaths, lanes and verges around the village such as repairing and clearing around signs, and helping with some of the drainage problems.
The parish council has recently been involved with the Woodlands Trust to secure a number of trees for planting around the parish and at Breinton Springs. Representatives from the local police team and the National Trust liaise closely with the parish council to resolve any problems that arise. The parish council has representatives on the Village Hall Management Committee and on the Breinton Charities committee, and also consider planning applications submitted to Herefordshire Council, for any development in the parish.
The parish council hold 9 meetings each year, which are held in the Village Hall – the dates of forthcoming meetings are on this website.
Breinton is in the Credenhill ward of Herefordshire Council.