In England, Parish Councils are the lowest tier of local government. Technically they are not local authorities, but only local councils.
Hartley Parish Council's main responsibilities are currently (2007):
Parish Councils can also discharge any function delegated to it by another authority.
The council meets every month except August usually in the Manor Field Pavilion. Meetings are on the second Monday of most months at 8.00pm. However the council delegates a lot of its work to committees who do not meet at fixed times. You will need to see the noticeboard in the library or website to find out when these meetings are held. In addition the chairman, or two councillors can call an extraordinary meeting.
Anyone may make notes of a meeting, as we do in the minutes we publish on this site. The council produces "official" minutes, which mean that they have a certain legal status in the recording of decisions. To our knowledge, the council have always refused requests to tape record meetings.
The day to day administration is performed by the clerk to the council, who is meant to be non-political and to serve all councillors. The parish council also has an assistant clerk.
does it do?
does Hartley Fit in?
At present 54 councillors represent the district's 86,000 voters, and at present the Conservative party is in control. Like Parliament the area is split into mini constituencies which are called "wards". These are reviewed periodically to ensure fair representation. A minor change occurred in 2003, when Hartley ceased to be a ward with Fawkham, but one with Hodsoll Street and Ridley instead. This ensured the number of voters in each ward was as similar as possible.
At present the Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward elects three councillors. They are:
James Gaywood, Brian Ramsay and Larry Abraham (all Conservative)
The district council elections are held at the same time as the parish council. The next election will be in May 2011.
does it do?
Where does Hartley Fit In
The highest level of local government is Kent County Council and they spend by far the largest part of your council tax bill. The creation of Medway Council has meant the area of the county has shrunk in recent years, and the county council is under threat from a two pronged attack from the government, which appears to favour a Regional Council for the whole of South East England, with unitary authorities beneath them. However there does not appear to be much support in the county for this.
The council is elected every 4 years, the next election will be in 2009. The constituencies for county councils are called "Divisions". The parishes of Hartley, Ash, West Kingsdown and Fawkham are in Sevenoaks North East division, currently represented by David Brazier (Conservative). At present the boundaries of the county council divisions are being reviewed to ensure fair representation. Like Sevenoaks Council, the Conservatives run KCC.
© Friends of Hartley Countryside 2007