Bere Regis Parish Council consists of 11 councillors, elected to serve a four year term. The council appoints and employs the Clerk who administers the affairs of the council between meetings.
The Council is governed by a series of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations. These are reviewed annually and amended as new statutes or regulations come on line. With effect from September 2014, the Parish Council adopted the Policy & Protocol governing recording, photography and use of social media at meetings. The full Policy can be viewed at: Policy & Protocol. All Councillors are governed by a Code of Conduct which they must sign up to when they become a Councillor, together with completing a Register of Interest for themselves and their partner. This is held on file at the District Council and is posted on to the District Council’s web site. It is part of the Clerk’s job to ensure all members act within the Code of Conduct and the Council is run in accordance with the Standing Orders.
The Parish Council meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7pm in the Drax Hall. A Parish Councillor also joins Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds at Turberville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 9.30 to 10 am.
What is a Parish Council?
It is the first tier of Local Government and was created by statute in 1894 under the Local Government Act
Parish Councils have their origins in the development of villages centuries ago. When villages were ruled by the Lord of the Manor Parish Priests, and often Schoolmasters would join him to form a ruling clique. By the 17th century Church Vestry Meetings were given the responsibility of levying the “poor rate” (The first effective taxes).
The 1894 Local Government Act was seen through parliament by the then Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone. Whilst seeing a lot of opposition it nevertheless became law and Parish Councils were formed.
There are over 8,500 Parish Councils today acting as a focus for local opinion and providing a way to push policy in a way best suited to the local community.
Roles and Responsibilities of Parish Councils
For a more complete guide (but by no means exhaustive) please see the following pdf document: Powers and Functions of Parish Councils
The Parish Council owns and maintains fixed assets on behalf of the village. These range from dog bins, to benches to areas of land. A full list is available:Parish Council Asset as at 31.03.16. The register is reviewed and audited annually and updated each time a new item is purchased.