News in detail 2006 - Quality Parish Council

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Quality Parish Council - what does it mean?

We congratulate the parish council on getting "quality" status, but what does it mean? Actually it means a lot less than the fewer councils who have the charter mark, where there is a rigorous examination of the standards of public service. Although it has the potential for the parish council to "empire build" by taking on other roles.

To be a quality council they must

(a) have no more than 20% of nominated members (this is the one many parish councils find difficult, but thanks to the 26 candidates at the last election this was not a problem for Hartley!);
(b) hold 6 meetings a year where the public can speak;
(c) have a qualified clerk;
(d) produce (but not necessary distribute to all houses) a newsletter 4 times a year and an annual report;
(e) comply with the law on accounts and ensure members sign the register of interests.