The role of the Parish Council is to represent the interests of the whole community with an emphasis on Preston values. The Parish Council is a corporate body, a legal entity separate from that of its members. Its decisions are the responsibility of the whole body.
Parish Councils are an essential part of the structure of local democracy and have a vital role in acting on behalf of the communities they represent. They work in partnership with other bodies for the benefit of the parish. For Preston, this is mainly North Hertfordshire District Council and Hertfordshire County Council.
Preston Parish Council makes decisions on issues that affect the local community and campaign, as appropriate, for the delivery of better services and facilities.
As a statutory consultee, Preston Parish Council plays an active part in all local planning issues. This is possibly the aspect of the Council’s role that is best known to the community and which can be one of the most important. The Parish Council may recommend that planning permission is granted or refused. However its views are given no more or less weight than any other comments North Hertfordshire District Council receives.
The Parish Council’s funding comes in the form of the precept which is collected by North Hertfordshire District Council as part of the council tax levied on tax payers in the parish. It is paid in two instalments, in April and September, in each financial year and is used for the benefit of the community. The Parish Council apply for appropriate grants when they are available and if they meet the criteria.
Preston Parish Councillors commit the time required to attend and play an active part in eight meetings each year, as well as the AGM. They are required to follow the Code of Conduct to which they agree when taking up office and to complete a declaration of interests.
Preston Parish Councillors are elected for a four year term of office. The current term of office began in May 2019 and will end in May 2023 when all Parish Councillors will have to be re-elected.
All meetings of Preston Parish Council are open to the public and local residents are welcome to attend. Meetings are held in the village hall and dates are posted on the village website and in the newsletter. There is an item on every agenda for comments from the public.
Information on Parish Council matters is circulated to residents via the Parish Council database. Residents can register to join the database by contacting Lisa Lathane, the Clerk to the Parish Council at: firstname.lastname@example.org who will send them the necessary paperwork.
For details of Parish Councillors, minutes of meetings and information on planning applications, please see the following pages on this website. The Transparency page provides information on the location of public land and building assets, as well as the Parish Council audited accounts and expenditure.