Parish councils are statutory bodies and their responsibilities are strictly governed by
law. Birlingham Parish Council has seven members, who are elected for a term of
four years, so the councillors elected last May will be due for re-election in 2019.
Councillors are unpaid and volunteer their time.
The Parish Council meets every two months and council meetings are open to the
43. Are you interested in Parish Council matters?
Dates and times of Parish Council meeting are shown on the Events page.
The village website also contains the agendas for meetings and their minutes.
Contact details for the Clerk, councillors and various representatives are listed on the Contacts page.
- A high percentage of people seemed interested in and aware of the PC activities. They follow the agenda,
read the minutes and know who the councillors are.
44. Are you aware that the Parish Council's funds are raised from the precept?
The precept is the part of your Council Tax allocated to the Parish. The Parish Council sets the precept for the coming financial year in
January each year. For the last two years the Parish Council has been limited by the Government to an increase of no more than 2% in its precept.
- 90% of respondents are aware that funds are raised from the precept.
45. Are you happy with the way the Parish Council spends the precept?
The Parish Council’s income is mainly from a part of the Council Tax called the
precept. In 2015/16 Birlingham’s precept is £5061, equivalent to an average of
£30.18 per household based on a Band D property. For the last two years the Council
has been limited to a 2% increase each year (about £100 on the precept).
The following is a summary of the Parish Council's accounts for 2014/15:
Salaries (clerk, contractors)
Birlingham Village Hall
Insurance (public liability, assets)
CALC (County Association of Local Councils)
Minor Payments (less than £100 each)
Plane Tree Provision
Transfer to General Reserves
The Parish Council maintains a number of provisions (amounts set aside for a liability of uncertain timing and amount). These include:
Tree Provision. This money is used by the Tree Warden for the maintenance of trees planted by the Parish Council.
Litter Pick Bursary. This money originally came from Wychavon District Council as a grant following the annual litter picks. The District Council no longer
pay this grant. The remaining money is used to top up the Tree Provision, as required.
Plane Tree Provision. This provision is being built up to allow for future work on the plane tree on the village green.
Election Provision. Following this year's election, it was decided to build up a new provision over the next four years
to cover the cost of any future elections.
Year-on-year surplus of income over expenditure is a General Reserve. The Parish Council are currently rebuilding this to be equal to our annual costs of £4,000
(as recommended by the Association of Local Councils). The General Reserve is used for unexpected expenditure, such as this year’s contested election
(believed to be approximately £700).
- 92% are happy with the way the precept is spent.
46. Are there any activities for which the Parish Council is responsible that need improving?
The Parish Council has limited powers but has responsibilities to maintain or improve
the environment and look after the interests of the local community. The Council is
consulted by Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council in
certain areas and can influence those bodies for the benefit of the parish.
The Parish Council can also promote new ideas that benefit the community. For
example, over the last three years the Council has initiated the Queen’s Jubilee
Celebrations, set up the village website and launched the village email.
- A number of suggestions were made for changes to the Parish Council's activities, which will influence
future Council decisions.
- CALC is the County Association of Local Councils, which provides advice and legal help to the Parish
Council and runs training courses for the clerk and councillors.
47. Do any of these services need to be improved?
- Suggestions included more rubbish bins and highway improvements.
- Birlingham Parish Council cannot make changes to the services listed but it can lobby
59. Would you be prepared to see an increase in your Council Tax to fund any improvements mentioned
in this questionnaire?
Inevitably, there is a cost to most improvements in the village and this will have an effect on your Council Tax. Currently, the Parish Council is limited to
a 2% rise per year, so any major increases in expenditure would have to come from cuts in other part of the budget.
- 45% of respondents are willing to see an increase in council tax to pay for improvements.