More About EPC
Egerton Parish Council is one of 10,000 parish and town councils based in England’s rural areas. Parish Councils represent some 16 million people. They are an essential part of the structure of local democracy
Who runs Egerton Parish Council?
The local community elect’s parish councillors for four-year terms. In Egerton, the last election was in May 2019. Like many other parishes, Egerton Parish Councillors are not paid.
Egerton has a paid Parish Clerk to support the Parish Council for 12 hours a week.
What does Egerton Parish Council do?
Egerton Parish Council has a range of functions permitted by statute.
- Provision, inspection, and maintenance of local amenities. Such as the Glebe and the Recreation Ground. Bus shelters, benches, and notice boards
- Providing or contributing to public services such as The Christmas Fair. Lighting the steps on its land from the car park to Rock Hill and to Elm Close
- Contributing funding to Wealden Wheels; a community transport scheme.
- Street cleaning and provision of litter bins and recycling facilities.
Local planning applications and other proposals are notified to Egerton Parish Council. Views are given to Ashford Borough Council on behalf of the community.
Applications are considered to:
- fulfil Egerton Parish Councils understanding of current planning law, Conservation Area and listed building status
- meet local and County/Regional structure plans
- meet the principles of Egerton’s Village Design Statement
- aid Egerton’s prosperity
- be even-handed and impartial.
Egerton Parish Council has:
- campaigned for and against developments around the parish
- worked with Ashford Borough Council and rural housing providers to identify appropriate affordable housing sites.
- been involved in the design and scope of affordable housing.
Egerton Parish Council also;
- undertakes projects and schemes that benefit residents
- works with other bodies, associations or clubs to achieve benefits for the parish
- alerts relevant authorities to problems or work that needs to be undertaken
- helps government and its agencies keep in touch with local communities by commenting on consultation documents or drawing matters to their attention
- offers financial support and encouragement to local groups which benefit the Parish
- comments on infrastructure, highways, drainage, and utilities. comments on matters which may affect the character of the village.
- acts as a focus for community representation and activity
- puts forward or support applications for award schemes. Such as youth volunteers or rural retailers.
What do councillors do?
Parish Councillors must act within the law. They must sign a declaration to abide by a Code of Conduct. Although the rules and regulations are important, the role is much wider. Councillors are the voices for their local community. They work to influence the decisions of the other tiers of local government.
Councillors have three main components to their work
- Decision making – through meetings and attending committees with other elected members.
Councillors decide which activities to support. How much money should be in the budget. What facilities to provide. What are the priorities, and what policies to put in place
- Monitoring – Councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective outcomes. They assess how well things are working and take appropriate action to overcome obstacles.
- Getting involved – councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations such as:
Egerton Playing Fields Association, Village Hall Management Committee, Wealden Wheels.(external link) They take an active part in making things happen and report back to the full Council for any follow-up action.
- Going to meetings affecting the wider community, such as Kent Police Forum. Raising concerns, reporting difficulties, and assisting progress.
- Taking up issues on behalf of members of the public
- Meeting individual residents to discuss local concerns.
Egerton Parish Council raises funds through a precept on Council Tax. Ashford Borough Council levies the tax after a request from Egerton Parish Council.
Ashford Borough Council also provides annual grants.
The budget is agreed in December or January. Accounts are audited every year by the Audit Commission and an independent auditor
Egerton Parish Council has links with a wide range of other bodies. This include neighbouring parishes, Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council. Also, Central Government, its agencies, and other statutory authorities. Such as Kent Police and Kent Clinical Commissioning Group. Local voluntary and community organisations, Rural Community Councils, and local businesses. Egerton Parish Council is an active member of the Kent Association of Local Councils. It is a member of Action for Communities in Rural Kent.
How to find out more
Attend a Parish Council meeting held on the first Tuesday of the month. Attend the Annual Parish Assembly in March. By law, members of the public can be present for most council business.