The Parish Council represents the interests of the whole Swainswick Parish community.
The current Council is non-party political and is made up of six Councillors who are local residents, see Members Details
Parish Councillors serve a four year term, with the next election due in May 2019.
Local residents on the electoral role can be co-opted on to the Parish Council if there are insufficient candidates at an election for all the seats to be filled or if a vacancy occurs during a four-year term.
The main roles of the Parish Council are to ensure that services are delivered effectively to meet local needs (for example maintenance of the highways, collection of waste), to enhance the quality of life in the community and to improve the environment of the Parish. Monitoring and commenting on planning applications and associated issues is relevant in achieving this. The Council performs a limited range of tasks on its own. It carries out its main roles through advocacy with local and regional organisations, principally Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES). The Parish Council receives a small annual income from B&NES which is obtained through a levy on each household known as the ‘Precept’¹ Details of Parish Council powers and duties can be found in Parish Council Powers.
Effective communication, within and beyond the Parish, is central to the Parish Council’s work in representing Swainswick effectively in discussions and negotiations with other organisations, for example service providers and neighbouring Parish Councils and especially B&NES. The Parish Council welcomes questions, opinions or concerns from parishioners and values their presence at its bi-monthly Parish Council meetings.
The Parish Council is served by a Parish Clerk. The Clerk provides professional advice and administrative support to ensure that the Council adheres to its legal requirements and implements decisions correctly. The Clerk is also the Council’s Responsible Financial Officer, administering its financial affairs in accordance with prescribed procedures.
¹ The annual precept is agreed each year by the Parish Council and is the amount which it considers is needed to serve the needs of the Parish, including meeting its budgeted expenditure. The precept is the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax collected by B&NES and is separately itemised on Council Tax bills.