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What is the Parish Council?

What is a Town or Parish Council?

It is a statutory local authority set up under the Local Government Act 1972. It operates in the area of a defined civil parish or group of parishes. A Town Council has exactly the same powers as Parish Council.

Who is on the Council?

Mayland Parish Council represents the villages of Mayland & Maylandsea. The council is made up of councillors elected by the electors of the parish.

Your councillors can be found here.

Each year the council elects one of its menbers to be the Chairman of the council (called the Mayor of a Town Council). The council has a paid officer who organises meetings and helps to carry out the council’s decisions – this officer is usually called the Clerk. The Clerk does not vote or make decisions; that is the role of the councillors.

What powers do Parish Councils have?

They have a wide range of powers which essentially relate to local matters, such as looking after Lawling Park Hall, Lawling Park, play areas, tennis courts, football pitches, Everetts Memorial Park, Cardnells Memorial Field, Mayland Nature Reserve and some street lighting. They also have the power to raise money through the
council tax.

The Parish Council can also give its view to Maldon District Council on forthcoming planning applications. Whilst Maldon District Council note the views of the Parish Council the final decision on all planning decisions rests with the District Council.

To whom are they accountable?

The electors of the parish. Elections to parish councils are held every four years. The council’s accounts are subject to scrutiny by the District Auditor. The district council’s Monitoring Officer has the role of ensuring that councillors observe the council’s Code of Conduct . If you live in either Mayland or Maylandsea you may stand for election as a councillor at the next elections or, should a casual vacancy arise, apply to be co-opted.

Can I attend meetings of the council?

Yes, all meetings of the council and its committees must be open to the general public and the press, except in very exceptional circumstances. The time and place of meetings must be advertised beforehand – usually on the parish noticeboard and website. The Clerk will be able to give you details of forthcoming meetings.

Can I speak at the meeting?

You cannot speak while the normal business of the meeting is being conducted. However, it is good practice (which nearly all councils follow) to allow some time at the meeting when members of the public may address the council on an issue that concerns them. The Clerk will provide you with details about how this works in your council.

Can I see the minutes of council meetings and other papers?

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2001 you may see and have a copy of the ‘recorded’ information held by the council (unless it is classed as exempt information in the Act). This includes reports, minutes, correspondence and emails. The information must be provided within 20 working days. There may be a photocopying charge.