Entrance to the Parish Council Offices
What is a Parish Council?
Your first point of contact for community issues…
A parish council is a civil local authority and the first tier of local government. They were formed under the Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties. They are elected corporate bodies, with tax raising powers, and are responsible for looking after their civil parish.
Their activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community, delivering services to meet local needs, and improving quality of life and community well being.
Brickhill Parish Council is democratically elected by you and our councillors can alter whenever there is an election. Brickhill also elects two councillors to Bedford Borough Council.
Our aim is to represent the concerns of local residents and provide services to meet local needs. We have a wide range of powers including looking after community buildings, planning, street lighting, allotments and more.
How we work...
The Parish Council meet regularly to address their responsibilities. We have a number of locally elected councillors (15 Parish Councillors and 4 Borough Councillors) together with a Clerk who provides administrative support.
Parish councils are responsible for managing their own budgets. They are financed through a sum called a precept, an amount of money calculated as an estimate for the coming financial year and collected as part of the Council Tax. This money is used to improve facilities and services for local people. We can also apply for other funding, such as grants and awards.
Brickhill Parish Council actively encourage input from residents on what the community needs, so that they can budget for that activity.
We have a wide range of powers and duties in relation to our community and strict policies and procedures to adhere to.
How about becoming a Parish Councillor?
If you share our passion and love for the community, we are always keen to hear from you.
Brickhill Parish Council exists to represent and actively involve everybody in the community of Brickhill. We work closely with voluntary and community sector groups to articulate the needs and wishes of the people of Brickhill. We work in partnership with Bedford Borough Council and local agencies to deliver local services for the community.
Are you interested in local issues? Would you like to learn more about what is going on in Brickhill? Maybe you would you like to participate in shaping your community? If the answer is yes, then we want to hear from you.
Information about the role of a parish councillor and guidance on standing for election can be found on the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) website which provides these publications:
The Localism Act, which came into force in 2011, passes more power to communities and encourages those communities to become more self-reliant. Community rights powers are a cornerstone of this legislation.
- Neighbourhood planning
- Community Right to Build
- Community Right to Challenge
- Community Right to Bid
Find out more detail at the UK national My Community website.
For further details on the Localism Act and the various rights, visit the Department for Communities and Local Government website.
Parish councils can extend their powers to do anything to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of their community as long as it is within the law. To exercise this right, a parish council must adopt the general power of competence, subject to fulfilling certain criteria.