The Role of Parish Councils

The Parish Council is the first tier in local government. As it is the authority closest to the people, Parish Councils are invariably the first-place people will go with concerns or ideas. For this reason, they are a vital part of any community.

Parish Councils are an essential part of the structure of local democracy and have a vital role in acting on behalf of the communities they represent. They:

  • give views, on behalf of the community, on planning applications and other proposals that affect the parish
  • undertake projects and schemes that benefit local residents
  • work in partnership with other bodies to achieve benefits for the parish
  • alert relevant authorities to problems that arise or work that needs to be undertaken
  • help the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities.

Parish Councils have a wide range of legal duties and powers, such as the maintenance of community buildings and land and much more. They have the power to raise money through the local council tax.

About Brinsworth Parish Council

Brinsworth Parish Council has been in existence since 1895.

Brinsworth Parish Council has 11 Councillors who stand for election every four years. The duties and functions of a parish council are many and varied.

The Council meets twice a month and all meetings are open to the press and public. The meetings are held on a Thursday evening at 6pm and take place in The Centre. There is a forum before the start of the meeting at which members of the public can raise concerns and ask questions. There is also an annual meeting which all parishioners are invited to attend. All meetings are advertised in the council notice boards and quarterly newsletter and are also on the Parish Council website. Residents can bring to the attention of the parish council anything that concerns them, either directly or through the clerk. If matters raised are not the responsibility of the council, the clerk can bring them to the attention of the proper authority.

What Services Does Brinsworth Parish Council Provide?

Brinsworth Parish Council currently provides the following services for the benefit of residents:

  • works with RMBC to improve the environment in Brinsworth
  • works with the Police to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour
  • supports residents in the parish with any issues of concern
  • supports local issues important to residents, e.g. new library facilities
  • consults with RMBC regarding planning applications in the parish
  • provides grants to local community groups and schools
  • strives to bring funding from external sources into Brinsworth
  • produces a parish newsletter four times per year full of local news
  • provides a youth club each week for school years 4, 5 and 6
  • employs staff to maintain the parish facilities
  • organises an annual Fete, a Firework display, a Remembrance and Civic service
  • provides green open spaces, Brinsworth Playing Fields, Howarth Park and Millennium Park
  • provides a Pavilion which is available for hire
  • provides ‘The Centre’ which is run on a day to day basis by Brinsworth Community Trust on its behalf.
  • provides 3 football pitches including changing rooms/showers for local teams
  • provides 3 children’s play areas
  • provides 3 multi-use games areas
  • provides a bowling green
  • provides Christmas decorations for community enjoyment.

What decisions do Parish Councils make?

Parish Councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.

It’s true to say that on their own, Parish Councils have limited powers to make decisions. But they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as the local borough council, health authorities, police etc).

In this respect Parish Councils are extremely powerful. The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something, and its views will be taken seriously.

What powers do Parish Councils have?

They have a wide range of powers which essentially related to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open space, and play areas. The Council also has the power to raise money through taxation, the precept. The precept is the Parish Council’s share of the council tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, which collects the tax for the parish council.

What Can Brinsworth Parish Council Do?

Brinsworth Parish Council has a wide range of powers and is involved in providing community halls and recreational facilities, maintaining open spaces and play areas, and dealing with other ‘quality of life’ issues.

Brinsworth Parish Council works hard to bring about improvements through local projects, lobbying other service providers and working in partnership with other parishes and agencies.

It is notified of all planning and licensing applications within the parish boundary and can make its views known. Quite often these are taken into account, although the final decision on such applications remains with RMBC.

Small projects, such as providing seats, clearing footpaths, planting and landscaping work can be done directly by the Parish Council. In the case of bigger projects, such as sports facilities and children’s play areas, the Parish Council may contribute funds from its reserves and seek match funding from external organisations in the form of a grant.

It can support residents in many ways and even if it cannot control an issue it will strive to help achieve what is best for the community of Brinsworth.

What Can’t Brinsworth Parish Council Do?

The Parish Council cannot deliver any service that is a statutory duty of the Local Authority such as:

  • education
  • transport
  • planning
  • fire and public safety
  • social care
  • libraries
  • waste management
  • trading standards

How does Brinsworth Parish Council make decisions?

Brinsworth Parish Council is made up of 11 councillors who meet regularly to make decisions on the work and direction of the council. As an elected body, the parish council is an “it” and, through its councillors, is responsible to the people it represents – that’s the local community.

Attending a Parish Council meeting is the best way to find out what it does. Have a look at the other pages on this website to see what the Parish Council has been dealing with recently.

Where does Brinsworth Parish Council its money from?

Each year Brinsworth Parish Council asks RMBC for a sum of money, called a ‘precept’, which is collected through your council tax. This money is used by the Parish Council to improve facilities and services for local people and run the Council. It can also apply for grants and loans and can receive money from rents and leases.

How are Brinsworth Parish Councillors elected?

Parish councillors are elected to represent a geographical area known as ‘The Parish’. They are elected by people who live in the area every four years at the same time as RMBC local Ward Councillor elections.

To stand as a candidate at any election a nomination paper must be submitted to RMBC’s Monitoring Officer. The nomination paper gives details of name, address and political description (if any).

All nomination papers require a signature from two (one proposer, and one seconder) registered electors within the parish. The proposer and seconder must be on the RMBC electoral register that is in force on the 25th working day before the poll.

If a seat becomes vacant mid-term (or if there are not enough candidates to fill all council seats at election time) the council will hold a by-election. If no one stands for election the council may then co-opt members to the council.

Once elected, Parish Councillors can sit on the Parish Council for a maximum of 4 years. If after that time, you wish to stay in post then you will need to stand for re-election.

Next time you get your voting slip have a look for your Parish Council candidates and have your say on who should be elected.


Interested in becoming a councillor?


What do Brinsworth Parish councillors do?

Councillors have three main areas of work:

  1. Decision-making: through attending meetings and committees with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented;
    2. Monitoring: councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working;
    3. Getting involved locally: as local representatives, councillors have responsibilities towards their parishioners and local organisations. This often depends on what the councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available.

The day-to-day work of a councillor may include:

  • Going to meetings of local organisations
  • Going to meetings of bodies that affect the wider community, such as the police, the Highways Authority, schools and colleges
  • Bringing parishioners concerns to the attention of the council

Could I be a Brinsworth Parish councillor?

As a councillor you can become a voice for the community of Brinsworth and affect real change. It helps if you’re a “people person” who enjoys talking to other residents but, more importantly, you need to have the concerns and best interests of the parish as a whole at heart. Councillors are community leaders and should represent the aspirations of the public that they serve.

Why don’t you stand for Brinsworth Parish Council and see what difference you can make to your local community?

How much time does it take up & when?

On average, less than a couple of hours a week. There are some councillors who spend more time than this – and some less, but in the main, being a Parish councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work. Council meetings are always held in the evening – as are most meetings of the other groups which councillors attend on the Council’s behalf.

Talking and listening to your fellow parishioners can be done at any time but you must be able to spend a couple of hours every month (in the evening) attending the Council meeting.

Am I qualified to be a Parish Councillor?

Most people are. However, there are a few basic rules. You have to be:

  • A British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union, and
  • 18 years or older on the day you become nominated for election, and
  • Live or work in or near the parish.
  • You cannot stand for election if you:
  • Are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order
  • Have, within five years before the day of the election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a prison sentence (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine.
  • There are also some other disqualifications relating to candidacy, but they are too complex to outline here.

Want to get involved?

The best way to discover if being a Brinsworth Parish Councillor is right for you is to come along to one of our meetings, meet the team and see us in action. Alternatively feel free to contact any of the Parish Councillors through the website contacts page and have a chat with us. To register an interest in joining the council, please contact our clerk Peter Jenkinson –