The Parish Council is a statutory organisation and the most local level of government for Haydon Wick. The Council comprises 18 councillors who are elected every four years to represent the residents of the parish.
The 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 Council appoints a Parish 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 Parish 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 three standing committees (Amenities & Leisure, Policy & Finance, 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.