Hayfield Parish Council
A Parish Council is a legal entity with many Statutory Powers and Duties (See web page) that have been laid down over many years in Acts of Parliament.
Hayfield Parish Council is the level of local government closest to the people and in addition to having Powers and Duties, it represents the views of the community to the High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, the Peak District National Park Authority, Central Government and other statutory agencies such as water authorities.
The New Way
The present Government has published a number of initiatives to modernise local government. They have set new standards that councils must meet. They are calling Councils that attain the new standards
'Quality Councils' .
Certain actions, which formerly were seen as good practice but were not compulsory, are now legal requirements. Examples are that Councillors register all their personal interests and accept 'Codes of Conduct'. This formalisation of good practice is welcomed by Hayfield Parish Council.
In addition to modernising local councils, the government is changing funding processes and practices, encouraging new bodies, such as the East Midlands Development Agency, to play an active part in regional development, working with local Councils to spend funds in their regions.
Hayfield Parish Council, took an active part in responding to the many issues that obtaining Quality Council Status required, involving councillors in large amounts of paperwork, discussion and planning.
Hayfield Councillors are committed to taking an active part in the reform process to ensure that they remain properly informed about developments and opportunities that can benefit Hayfield.
Members of the Council
All of the ten present Councillors were elected in the May 2007 elections.
We are fortunate in Hayfield that we have a broad spectrum of committed people on the council. Some have lived and worked their whole lives in the community and are a rich source of expertise, local knowledge and tradition. Others have moved here and put down roots bringing different but much valued perspectives, expertise and experience.
The Present Chairman spans both camps. His family (Gee's & King's) have lived in the area for many generations, he was born and grew up in the village. Unfortunately he like many others had to move away to pursue his career, but with family and friends still in the village he was kept in constant touch with village life. On enforced early retirement due to injury, he moved back to the village and was persuaded to put up for the counicil and was elected. This year his fellow Councillors elected him to the role of Chairman of the Council.
Members of the Council do not receive payment of any kind. Many undertake training and have attended meetings in the county and region, representing the Parish of Hayfield, at their own expense.
The Council has a part time paid Clerk who is responsible for the day to day running of the Parish Councils activities, servicing the Council meetings, and keeping and preparing accounts. In addition, the Council has three other part time employees who look after the gardens, recreation facilities and services such as litter collection, grass cutting and strimming
Council meetings are open to the public and the press who can only be excluded when certain items are required by law to be treated 'in Council' (See meetings page on website for the nine conditions). The minutes, correspondence and other documents are open to public scrutiny, with the exception of items treated 'in Council'.
It is the Parish Councils' duty and commitment to make the operation of the Parish Council as 'transparent' and open as possible. The Council has established this website, and information on Council matters will be updated regularly. Hard copy files will also be kept at the council offices for the public to see.
Financing the Future
The Parish Council's basic income is from the precept raised from the Council Tax administered by High Peak Borough Council. The Parish Council is also able to seek finance from other government schemes and grants. It is empowered to receive and administer charitable trusts and donations and to enter into public/private enterprise arrangements.
The Council has taken on a much more active role in increasing Parish income than it used to, so that we can support development projects to enhance the quality of life for residents and improve our environment.
(An example of this at its simplest is the partnership between local businesses, residents and the Council in the provision and maintenance of hanging baskets.)
The Parish Plan was presented to the Parish Council after two years of public consultation and hard work by the members of the steering and topic groups.
The Parish Council held two meetings so that members of the public could discuss how best to and volunteer to action the next phase of the Plan, Advisory Groups were established and they will report back to the Council in due course.
The objectives of the Parish Plan are to retain and enhance the character of Hayfield whilst bringing facilities and services more into line with 21st century living.