Who are we?
We are the third of the three tiers of local authority in Leicestershire. Next up is Charnwood Borough Council and then Leicestershire County Council – both of which have differing responsibilities.
The seven Parish Councillors are elected from the village for a four year term (next election 2019). We are unpaid volunteers who serve as individuals and not representatives of a political party. We employ a clerk to the council (Mrs. Maureen Spencer) who deals with all the administration and is the first point of contact.
We have a good working relationship with Cllr. Betty Newton who is our county councillor, and with Cllr. Bea Cooper and Cllr. Keith Harris who are our borough councillors, as well as department officials in both authorities.
What do we do?
We receive a proportion of the council tax to finance our operations. We believe in investing our income in projects which provide better amenities for residents and improve the village environment for everyone, recent examples include the skate board facilities, jubilee garden and the new children’s play area.
We are responsible for a number of assets and amenities which include the Recreation Ground on Pasture Lane (the home of Hathern Old Cricket Club) with its associated children’s play area and youth football pitch, and the Sports Ground in Pasture Lane (the home of Hathern FC and Hathern Band). We also look after Hathern Cemetery (including the War Memorial) and its approach, the allotments on Shepshed Road, The Leys public space, bus shelters, litter and grit bins and wayside seats. We receive income from assets incuding allotment rentals, sports bookings, lease rentals and burials. All our assets must be maintained, repaired, replaced and kept safe.
Other things we do include commenting on planning applications (although we don’t have powers to make decisions), liaising with other authorities and companies about infrastructure issues and investigating problems and complaints from the community. We keep an eye on crime and security issues in the village. A member of the local police force normally attends the Parish Council meeting and gives information on incidents and statistics. We also give small grants to village organisations to be used for the benefit of our community.
We must of course ensure that our business is conducted in a lawful and open way and that your money is used economically, efficiently and effectively. As a result we operate a set of policies, procedures and monitoring systems which include strategic plans, financial regulations, budget controls, risk assessment and standing orders.
What does this cost?
Parish Councils are the most unbureaucratic and inexpensive of any of the levels of local authority in the UK. Our funds are a tiny proportion of the council tax – less than 3.5% – and as we get no general government grant, we have every incentive to ensure we are economical and deliver value for money to the community we serve.