How The Council Operates

The Parish Council is a statutory organisation and the most local level of government for Haydon Wick.  The Parish Council comprises 18 councillors who are elected every four years to represent the residents of the parish.

The Parish Council operates within a legal framework with powers conferred by Acts of Parliament (such as the power to provide public open space through the Open Spaces Act 1906.) Since 2018 the Parish Council has been able to exercise the ‘General Power of Competence’ which provides additional powers to do anything that an individual may generally do.

The Parish Council appoints a Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer who is responsible for the effective running of the council, the management of 15 staff and the delivery of services. The Clerk holds a bachelor degree in business, a CiLCA (Certificate in Local Council Administration) and a distinction in the Foundation Degree in Community Governance.

The Parish Council delegates the majority of its decision making powers to four standing committees (Community Development, Finance & Policy, Parks & Open Spaces and Planning & Highways). The committee system allows for more focused meetings and for councillors to focus on the areas in which they have the greatest interest or knowledge. Committees may also establish sub-committees.

The Council may also set up working parties who are tasked to research and develop ideas or oversee a specific project. These working parties can include members of the public who help to develop innovative ideas and engage with the local community.  Although they are not governed by a terms of reference, they are more informal, they cannot make decisions on behalf of the council.

The Parish Councillors are also collectively trustees for the King George V Playing Field Trust. The Council holds various leases and assets across the parish.

Annual Council Meeting

Annually in May, the Council holds an Annual Council Meeting where its Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council are elected for the year, as well as confirming the Committee memberships. Committees are  restricted to nine Councillors in addition to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council who sit as ex-officio members with voting rights.

Scheme of Delegation & Committee System

At Full Council all 18 Councillors meet to make decisions on matters, such as setting the annual precept, making/amending/revoking policies such as its Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, as well as making key decisions on the strategic direction of the Council.

The Community Development Committee is responsible for overseeing community development and engagement activities in the Parish. It will help the Council to develop strategic partnerships, produce professional marketing & publicity activities, deliver projects and events to benefit the wide range of residents in the Parish. Using strategic partnerships, this Committee will help the Council to work with the younger adults in the community, as well as those most vulnerable in the parish. It will also oversee external grant funding applications and the Council’s own Community Grant Scheme.

The Finance & Policy Committee is responsible for making informed financial decisions, overseeing the budgets and spends, creating and amending new policies and the general governance for the running of the Council.

The Parks & Open Spaces Committee looks after 24 play areas, Mouldon Hill, Seven Fields Conservation Area and several pockets of green space. They oversee the effective management of the ground’s maintenance contracts and the internal work carried out by the Parks and Open Spaces Team, for example, bin emptying and grass cutting and makes suggestions for the CCTV locations. Implementing projects and ensuring a high standard of service delivery to its residents.

The Planning & Highways Committee meets to discuss the Parish Council’s response as a statutory consultee to planning applications submitted to the local planning authority, Swindon Borough Council.

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