Tatenhill and Rangemore have three different tiers of local government, each democratically elected, independent of each other and with very different functions. Staffordshire County Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council are collectively called the “principal authorities”, however Tatenhill & Rangemore Parish Council is known as a “local council”.
Until recently councils could only do what they were specifically empowered to do by statute, other acts are “ultra vires” (beyond the power of) and in the case of local councils, these powers are quite limited. They include both administrative powers and powers to provide services or act for the good of the community. Legislation also gives councils certain duties, i.e. things it must do. More recently, principal councils and eligible parish councils were given a general power of competence which gave them, with certain limitations, the authority to do anything that an individual can do. Tatenhill & Rangemore has now become eligible to adopt this power.
Tatenhill & Rangemore Parish Council is the most local level of elected representation. Its aim is to serve as a vehicle of local opinion; to provide an effective link between the local residents and the Borough and County councils; to express local feelings and interests and to keep watch on all developments within the Parish. It has a responsibility to examine plans due for consideration by the Borough or County councils as planning authorities and power to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.
Within its constitution, the Council has adopted Standing Orders and Financial Regulations and has other governing documents such as a Member Code of Conduct, a Publication Scheme and Information Guide, Information Security Policy, Web Site Protocol and Grants Policy.
Tatenhill Parish Council dates back to 4th December 1894 when a Parish meeting was held under the Local Government Act 1894 in the Tatenhill Schoolroom. Seven nominees were declared elected as councillors by the Chairman of the meeting. The first Parish Council meeting was held on 19th December 1894. The first Chairman was George Meakin of Callingwood Hall. The business included the appointment of William Carter as Clerk to the Council. In December 2015 following a request from the council, ESBC approved a change of name to Tatenhill & Rangemore Parish Council.
The Council is composed of 7 Councillors, each representing all communities in the Parish. Council elections take place in May every 4 years, when a new Council is elected. The next “all out” elections will be May 2019. The overriding duty of Councillors is to the whole community including those who did not vote for them.
All councillors meet together as the Council. Meetings of the Council are normally open to the public and take place on a monthly cycle (except December). Here councillors decide the Council’s overall policies, set the budget each year and deal directly with the majority of issues. The Council currently has a Personnel Committee to deal with human resource matters and a Finance and Policy Committee to undertake detailed work on financial matters and IT.
All formal meetings are open to the public and press and reports to those meetings and relevant background papers are available for the public to see. Occasionally however, Council or committees may need to consider matters in private. Examples of this are matters involving personal details of staff, or a particular member of the public, or where details of commercial sensitivity are to be discussed. This will only happen after a formal resolution has been passed to exclude the press and public. Minutes from all formal meetings, including the confidential parts are public documents.
The Council currently has only one person working for it, which is the Parish Clerk. The Clerks role is to give advice, implement decisions and manage the day-to-day delivery its role and manage its finances. Some of these duties are statutory responsibilities.
Each year the Council sets its budget and determines how much money it needs to raise from Council Tax, through its Precept. This can clearly be identified from Council Tax bills and usually amounts to around 4% of the total.