Town and parish councils
Neighbourhood Area designation consultation - Suffolk Coastal has received five applications for Neighbourhood Area designation from communities wishing to undertake a Neighbourhood Development Plan. You can comment on whether the proposed area boundaries are suitable from Friday 26 April 2013 to Friday 21 June 2013.
Town and parish councils are the third tier of local government in the Suffolk Coastal district, along with Suffolk County Council (new window) and Suffolk Coastal District Council.
The district is divided into 118 civil parishes and towns. The majority have a town or parish council which meets regularly and is supported by a clerk. The few that don't have an annual parish meeting with the chairman usually acting as a point of contact.
Getting in touch with your local town or parish council
Follow the link below to get the contact details for your local parish or town clerk:
- List of town and parish clerks - updated 1 May 2013 (new window PDF 40KB)
- Town and parish council websites
Town and parish council services
Each town or parish council can set its own precept to fund its planned spending and this is collected by Suffolk Coastal as part of your Council Tax bill.
The town and parish charges for a Band D house in 2013/14 range from £0, in seven parishes that have not set a precept, up to the highest figure of £129.09, set by Leiston. Details of town and parish precepts are given below:
- 2013/14 parish and town council precepts (new window PDF 57KB) - extracted from the 2013/14 Council Tax and financial information booklet.
Each town or parish is asked for comments on planning applications in their area and they can provide a range of services. A wide variety of powers enables them to provide theatres, cinemas, community buildings, allotments, playing fields and equipment, support to community groups, luncheon clubs, youth clubs, village signs, festivals, footpath maintenance, street lighting, allotments, cemeteries and burial grounds, traffic calming as well as other facilities which enhance the life of the village or town.
Town and parish councillors
Each council is made up of councillors who are local residents - for some, usually the larger councils, these councillors would have been elected at the ballot box, but many of the parish councils do not have contested elections because not enough candidates come forward.
Town and parish council elections are held every four years with the last elections taking place on 5 May 2011. By-elections may be held to fill vacant seats as and when they occur.
If you would like to find out more about becoming a parish councillor and what they do, contact your local parish clerk or visit the Suffolk Association of Local Councils website (new window).
Suffolk Local Code of Conduct
The Suffolk Local Code of Conduct applies to elected councillors and co-optees appointed to the county, borough, district, town and parish councils in Suffolk. You can view the code of conduct by following the link below:
The code of conduct is intended to promote openness and transparency and to enable the public to have confidence that councillors act in the bona fide interests of their communities.
Complaints against town or parish councillors in the Suffolk Coastal District Council’s area who may have breached the code of conduct are dealt with by the Suffolk Coastal's Monitoring Officer:
Register of interests for town and parish councillors
All councillors have to complete a register of interests within 28 days of the election, which is available for anyone to see. The register of interests gives details of any interests that might give rise to a conflict of interest in a councillor's duties as a town or parish councillor.
Suffolk Coastal District Council has to publish the register of interests for all town and parish councils within the district (this does not apply to parish meetings), which you can view by following the link below: