What does the Parish Council do?
The parish council is a democratically elected body serving the parish of Cosgrove. Its purpose is to protect and promote the interests of parishioners and to provide local services. A copy of the parish council meeting agenda and minutes can be found on the Village Hall & bus shelter notice boards with a summary report in the Old Mail magazine. Alternatively view previous minutes by selecting from the dropdown menu under "Parish Council".
The Parish Council normally meets in the village hall at 7.30pm.on the first Wednesday of each month. With the threat of Covid19, video conferencing is being used to enable the Parish Council to meet in safety and continue to manage the village affairs.
Following the success of the July meeting, members of the community are welcome to observe the discussions during future meetings, by joining the meeting using Zoom. The meeting agenda includes a 15 minute period to allow parishioners the opportunity to raise any concerns or ask questions of the Council. These items may also be sent to the clerk or a member of the Parish Council in advance of meetings, if preferred.
If you are concerned about any parish matters, please let a member of the Parish Council know.
The Parish Council Meeting scheduled for 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th August 2020 will be a video conference, held on the internet. Members of the public may join and observe the meeting by following this link.
Contingence plans for the current period are displayed below.
The government have postponed Parish Council elections for another year, in an effort to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID19). Elections are now likely to be held in May 2021.
Contingence Plans for Cosgrove Parish Council
As you will all know the Parish Council should be thinking about the impact that widespread infection could have on the Council’s ability to conduct its business. As you are all aware, from the 16th March the Government has advised that ‘’Social Contact’’ should be minimised, although that is yet to be defined in a local government context. All Councillors and Council Staff should take a normal common-sense approach to hygiene precautions. At present our Parish Clerk is in a vulnerable group and after the 23rd March when NHS England contact all vulnerable people, the Parish Council may have even more Councillors who may have to self- isolate. I have discussed this possibility with our Chair and Vice Chair as Parish Clerk (Derek).
The work of the Parish Council will continue with its day to day running under delegated powers. This would mean that the Parish Clerk would continue with any work that is required to be done on behalf of the Parish Council. The Clerk will liaise with all Parish Councillors, where necessary, via either telephone or the Parish Council email system.
The decision to delegate powers shall be notified to the Public via noticeboards, website, etc. I have used the suggested template supplied by NALC for the notice.
“In response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK and in the event that it is not possible to convene meetings of Cosgrove Parish Council in a reasonable time, the Parish Clerk shall have delegated authority to make decisions on behalf of Cosgrove Parish Council, where such decision cannot reasonably be deferred and must be made in order to comply with a commercial or statutory deadline. The delegation does not extend to matters expressly reserved to the Parish Council in legislation or in its Standing Orders or Financial Regulations. Any decisions made under delegation must be recorded in writing and must be published in accordance with the relevant regulations. This delegated authority ceases upon the first meeting after the suspension of the Parish Council.”
Many aspects of Parish Council business are discretionary and can be deferred if necessary, however several things must be performed by law and have a statutory deadline, these are:
- Holding the Annual Parish open meeting on a date between 1st March and 1st June inclusive.
- Holding the annual meeting of the Parish Council in May.
- Approving for signature the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) before 1st July
These Statutory Responsibilities may change due to the current emergency.
The Clerk and I will continually monitor the situation and when any changes arise we will notify all our Parish Councillors.
Our Clerk will notify all Parish Councillors in respect of any planning applications. At which point Councillors review the applications and note their comments. The Clerk would then contact each individual Councillor for their opinions on each application. The Clerk will then respond to the Planning Office at South Northants Council with a consensus of opinions of the Parish Council.
Signing cheques need for paying invoices
A number of cheques have already been signed by myself and the vice chair in advance of any possible suspension. Further on in time, when these cheques have been used, it may be necessary for the Parish Clerk to be sole signatory on cheques for a short time.
After long deliberation on whether I should suspend All Parish Council Meeting. I feel that it is sensible and a necessary step to suspend all Parish Council Meeting as of and including our April meeting and they will be suspended until further notice. This decision has been taken (not lightly) in the interests of all our Parish Councillor’s, Parish Clerk and members of the Public due to the serious nature of the coronavirus outbreak.
Hope this keeps you informed of what we are trying to do to.
Once again I am very sorry that I have had to take this decision but I think this is the best approach to try and contain this bad situation. Hope you all keep safe through these difficult situation.
Chair, Cosgrove Parish Council.