Bishop Middleham & Mainsforth

Parish Council

Parish Council Meetings

The council meets in the Village Hall at 7pm on the second Wednesday of each month except for August.

What is a Parish Council?

Parish councils were formed in England under the Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. They are the smallest areas of civil administration in England providing the statutory tier of local government closest to the people.

They are elected corporate bodies, have variable tax raising powers, and are responsible for areas known as civil parishes. Parish councils are corporate bodies and local authorities recognised in law and must meet at a minimum of four meetings a year. One of these meetings must be the Annual Meeting of the council which must be held in May of each year during which the chair is chosen. Most councils meet ten or eleven time a year.

What we do:

The parish council has the power to raise a local tax known as the “precept” This gives our council an income of just under £50,000 per year which the team allocate to support our statutory duties, other responsibilities and community initiatives. The Precept for Bishop Middleham and Mainsforth is set at £117.28 this year (£2.26 per week per household). Most households in the Parish will pay this tax and our aim is to use this money to provide value for money services, amenities and to maintain the local environment for the 1,032 people who live in our community.

This aim is summed up in the phrase “conserving our past, building our future”, which was adopted as a result of the feedback in the last Parish survey. As part of this survey people shared their views about how much they valued the history and environment of the Parish but didn’t want it to end up as some kind of ‘museum’. The statement features on the new Parish logo and before the council spends any money we ask ourselves: ‘are we helping to conserve our past or build our future?’ If we can’t answer with a clear “yes,” then it is unlikely we will invest.

The main things we do in our Parish are:
• Ground maintenance. (flowerbeds, some grass cutting)
• Play area maintenance (the park and toddler area behind the village hall)
• Christmas tree and lights
• Approve grants to support local clubs and societies and other community activities
• Liaise with our County Councillor, Elaine Peeke and the County Council team to maintain and improve local infrastructure.

But most importantly we are here to represent and respond to the needs of the community and we do this by liaising with and listening to the views of local people, groups and businesses to help inform the decisions we make. More details about the role and responsibilities of Parish Councils can be found HERE .

How to get involved

The council meets in the Village Hall at 7pm on the second Wed of each month except for August. Any items that you would like to formally add to the agenda need to be sent to the Clerk a full week before the meeting, but everyone is welcome to attend the meeting and can raise any issues, ideas or feedback that they would like to be brought to the council’s attention. Please do come along, you are welcome to come along to just see what we do and don’t have to stay for all of the meeting. If you have a particular interest in any agenda item please feel free to just come along for that bit.

Outside of the formal meetings, your Parish Councillors are available to speak with individually and confidentially should you wish. Councillor contact details are on the “Meet your Councillors” page and the annual general meeting each May is another good opportunity to come along and meet the team.

Please keep an eye on the notice boards and this website for official Council communications. We will also, from time to time, ask the community Facebook page team to publish information which will be clearly marked as official council communications.