I am a big supporter of Parish Councils so this Liverpool Echo story worries me. I am not sure what is behind the move by Knowsley Borough Council but my understanding is that this used to be an independent run Parish Council but became Labour run in recent times. I find it rather sad when grass roots local democracy is potentially under threat of being chopped when many have so little confidence in the higher levels of government in England. The Echo story is below:-
A century-old parish council which represents more than 1,000 families could be abolished.
Knowsley Council chiefs are holding a review of Tarbock Parish Council, throwing its future into uncertainty.
The authority said it wanted the views of local residents and encouraged householders to get in touch during a six-week consultation period, which will end(ed) on June 3.
After all responses are collected, the council will put together a working group of elected members who will decide whether the parish council will continue unchanged or be abolished. The group will also examine the possibility of making changes to the area covered by Tarbock Parish Council and residents will be given another chance to give their views.
Tarbock Parish Council was set up in the early 20th century and is made up of two parish wards – Tarbock North and Tarbock South. There are 802 properties in Tarbock North, which covers part of the St Gabriel’s Borough ward and 307 properties in Tarbock South, which covers part of the Halewood North Borough ward.”
Residents living in a band D property under the remit of Tarbock Parish Council currently pay a parish council precept on their council tax of just £6.67. The parish council takes just £4,931 a year in precept charges, compared to the £268,703 collected by neigbouring Halewood Town Council. According to Knowsley Council’s consultation document handed out to residents, Tarbock’s precept is mainly spent on the running of the parish council.
It said: Parish councils can get involved in a wide range of activities, such as installing litter bins, arranging events and improving services and facilities in the local area. The level of this activity can depend upon the total amount of precept it receives from the residents in its area each year.
Tarbock Parish Council’s annual precept will mainly be spent on the administration of the parish council, which includes supporting the running of the village hall by hiring it for meetings, and paying for a clerk to manage the running of the parish council.
However, it could decide to extend its activities – for example, other parish and town councils in Knowsley run community facilities in their areas.