We have signed a new Town and Parish Council Charter, which sets out how we work together with town and parish councils in South Gloucestershire.
The Charter is a framework for South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and the town & parish councils (or local councils) to work in partnership in order to improve the well-being of the varied communities that make up South Gloucestershire. Through this Charter the respective councils agree to work in partnership whilst respecting each other’s rights as separate democratic bodies.
The Charter was formally agreed by SGC’s Cabinet and signed on their behalf by the Leader of the Council Cllr Toby Savage, along with Chair of the South Gloucestershire Town and Parish Councils Forum Steve Shield and Vice Chair of the South Gloucestershire Town and Parish Councils Forum Hannah Saunders.
Cllr Savage said: “We are pleased to sign this new Charter which sets out our commitment to work in partnership with local town and parish councils to help improve the many and varied communities that we have in the area.
“Ever since South Gloucestershire Council was established, there has been an appreciation of the roles of parish and town councils and how we should work together to best serve local people. Agreeing our individual commitments and recognising, understanding and respecting each other’s roles put us in the best position to achieve our shared ambitions for South Gloucestershire.”
There are 44 Town & Parish Councils in South Gloucestershire and three communities that hold an Annual Parish Meeting. In addition there are two unparished areas of Kingswood and Staple Hill.
All town and parish councils are invited to formally adopt the Charter and 41 have adopted it to date in recognition of their relationship with SGC.
Town and parish councils are locally elected bodies which play an important role in the lives of communities. They are funded principally by an annual precept collected through the Council Tax on their behalf by SGC. They have a wide range of powers, and many of their activities are interlinked with those of South Gloucestershire, and so by working in partnership more can be achieved than by each working alone.
Steve Shield, Chair of the South Gloucestershire Town and Parish Councils Forum, said: “The desire for Parish and Town Councils to work closely in Partnership with South Gloucestershire Council is paramount to delivering exceptional public service and to improve wellbeing across the whole of South Gloucestershire.
“I am grateful to those South Gloucestershire Officers who have continued to support the work of the South Gloucestershire Town and Parish Councils Forum, which meets quarterly to share good practice, discuss local issues, and provide a range of networking opportunities with various Partnership organisations working across South Gloucestershire. The support of fellow Clerks and their respective staffing teams and Councillors have demonstrated a real commitment to improve South Gloucestershire.”
For more information about the Town and Parish Council Charter visit https://www.southglos.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/councillors-democracy-and-elections/how-we-work/south-gloucestershire-parish-charter/