Brown Edge Parish Council consists of 11 members, a Clerk and a Cemetery Recorder. The Clerk and the Cemetery Recorder are not a member of the council but employees. Members are not paid but could claim out of pocket expenses for activities relating to council business. The tradition here in Brown Edge is not to claim for anything, in fact, the opposite is true in that councilors usually freely give their time undertaking roles to minimise any expenditure.
Councilors usually meet once a month on the first Wednesday of the month at half-past seven in the evening. Currently, they meet in the Village Hall.
Councilors cannot discuss anything that the public has not been given notice about. That notice is in the form of a detailed agenda posted on the parish noticeboard and on this website with three clear days (excluding Sundays) from publication to the meeting. Additionally, they cannot decide anything or meet as a group between meetings. .All business has to be transacted at meetings unless the council has asked someone to act on its behalf.
The meetings are in public and there is a section at the start of the meeting when the public can raise any issues they wish. Because of the above notice having to be given, the council can only agree to discuss the issue at the next meeting or explain previous decisions that have been made about the matter. If you have an issue that you wish to be raised it is much better to write in with your concern so that it can be included on the agenda. Members of the public cannot speak during the meeting unless the chairman asks the council to suspend business to allow someone to speak if s/he feels that clarity can be gained over a matter.
Sometimes the Council will create committees in order to proceed with certain projects. The council will appoint people to these committees. It is rare for a committee to have executive powers and so they have to report back to the council with recommendations of what to do and the council makes that decision.
There are specific documents that explain how a councilor behaves when undertaking council business and when s/he has to declare an interest in a matter so that the public can be sure that business is being conducted fairly and free from personal bias. These rules are far more restrictive and rigorous than those an MP has to abide by.