The Parish Council has been granted powers by Parliament including the important authority to raise money through taxation called the precept and a range of powers to spend public money.
The Parish Council is an elected body in the third tier of local government. The second tier is Hambleton District Council and the first tier is North Yorkshire County Council. These two top tiers have many legal duties and services to deliver such as education, housing, town and country planning, transport, environmental health and social services. The Parish Council can play a vital part in representing the interests of the communities it serves and improving the quality of life and the local environment by liaising with these Councils on behalf of the Electorate.
Burneston, Swainby with Allerthorpe & Theakston Parish Council is responsible for the upkeep of the villages including:
- Play Parks
- Grass cutting
- Village maintenance
- Reviewing Planning Applications
- Feeding into District and Country Council consultations
- Liaise with the Police, District and County Council
- Represent the parish on associated committees.
Planning, highways, transport and traffic, community safety, street lighting, allotments, playing fields, litter, war memorials, seats and shelters, rights of way – these are some of the issues that concern parish government. Central Government is encouraging local councils to deliver more services and play a greater part in their communities.
There are around 9,000 local councils in England and they are growing in number, especially as councils in urban areas are established. Most local councils were set up in 1894 by an Act of Parliament. This created the civil parish, separating it from the church, after its long history of delivering local services such as care for the poor, maintenance of roads and collecting taxes.