Statement of Intent as to Community Engagement




Aims and Objectives

Shillington Parish Council is an open and transparent Council, which values the opinions of the community which it serves. It has in the past, and will continue to do so in the future, listen to the needs and concerns of that community, and will do everything within its power and financial constraints, to make Shillington Parish a better place to live, and work.

Defining the Community

Shillington Parish Council is keen to reach all groups and individuals who work, or live in the Parish. It has historical links with local Church Groups, Parish Plan Steering Group, Village Design Association, Village Hall, Playing Field and Lower School and the many voluntary groups working for the good of the Parish, to ensure that as wide a cross section as possible of the community can have access to the Council, its Members, and the Clerk.  

Provision of Information to the Community

Shillington Parish Council has many avenues through which it communicates with its community. These include:

  • Contact details of all the Councillor and the Clerk are published on notice boards, website, in the ‘Parish News’ and in the Annual Report.
  • A web-site containing all the information an individual might wish to know about the work of the Parish Council including meeting minutes, policy documents, financial statements, annual report and how to contact anyone associated with the Council. It also includes links to other organisations including the principal authority.
  • An Annual Report which is delivered annually, via the ‘Parish News’, to every home in the Parish.
  • The council submits articles to the bi-monthly ‘Parish News’ (parish magazine). This is delivered free to every household in the parish and is also available from shops and public houses within the parish.
  • Publishing of agendas and other information, on the four notice boards throughout the Parish, for all Council and committee meetings.
  • Publishing of minutes, on the Council web site, for all Council and committee meetings.
  • The Parish Council’s involvement in the Annual Parish Meeting.
  • The annual External Audit offers the opportunity for questions to be asked about the latest Statement of Accounts. A synopsis of the financial accounts is published within the Annual Report.
  • Welcome Packs are given to new residents in the parish. This contains information on the community and the parish council.
  • The council has supported and been part of the production of a Village Design Statement and a Parish Plan.

Opportunities for Community Involvement

Shillington Parish Council will make every opportunity available to the electorate to ensure excellent community involvement. These will include the following method:

A public forum session at every Council meeting, where the electorate can raise issues in relation to the business on the agenda or request matters to be discussed at a subsequent meeting.     

Opportunities for Formal Representations to the Council

This “Statement of Intent” has elsewhere listed the many opportunities that exist for the public to make formal representations to the Parish Council.  Issues received in writing, providing they are received before the deadline for closure of the agenda, are included as a stated item on the next agenda.

It is a target that correspondence received from a member of the public is at least acknowledged, wherever possible, within five working days.

Involvement in Partnerships

The Parish Council encourages and supports public meetings organised by the police, the health authority, Central Bedfordshire Council and other organisations where they feel information should be made available to the residents of the Parish.

Role of Council Members and the Clerk

As an open and transparent Parish Council, both Members and the Clerk seek to offer a high quality professional service to all whom they serve.  Both Members and the Clerk are keen to maintain relevant Codes of Conduct in their business, and see the community as “customers” rather than an electorate.

Specific Areas for Community Involvement

Where there is a specific issue, or a new project, that the Parish Council wish to consider, it is of value to the Parish Council to seek the views of the community who will be most affected. The residents of the Parish can have confidence that their “voice” will be heard, and that the Council will work with the community to reach a common goal.

 This Statement of Intent was formally adopted by Shillington Parish Council and approved for publication on 6th July 2010