The role of a Parish Council is defined in law, e.g. the Localism Act 2011. This tends to set it out in terms of powers (things we can do) rather than things we must do. This probably follows logically from the fact that councillors are unpaid volunteers. However, our powers are sufficient to allow us to make ourselves useful – but we only have so much power and are sometimes expected to achieve something that we simply cannot.
Some of the things that GMPC currently manage include allotments, cemeteries, supporting charities, looking after community land, recreational facilities/buildings, a role in planning decisions …..
Everything we do has to be approved by a majority vote at a full council meeting. However much is devolved to sub-committees and working parties. Each councillor is expected to join and contribute to some of these.
The main sub-committees are currently:
Planning (see planning guidance) which scrutinises and makes inputs on planning applications.
Open Spaces which deals with play/recreational areas, street lighting, parking/roads, speed warning signs, allotments ….
Finance and General Purposes that manages our budget amongst other matters.
There are also Working Parties that are set up as needed.
The HS2 Working Party has been concentrating on mitigating the impact of HS2 on our parish for the past five years.
Another group produces our contributions to the Source local newspaper and a third group looks at Communications (including this website). There is a group that manages Prestwood Community Centre and we also appoint from among us representatives to about eight local charities and organisations.
Great Missenden Parish Council is only one of the councils (the lowest level of government) controlling our Parish.
Councillors are volunteers but we do employ two paid Clerks who do an excellent job of holding everything together. They should be your first point of contact with the Council – see our Contact page.