About the Council

The Parish Council of Betley, Balterley and Wrinehill (sometimes helpfully known as BBW!) is one of several thousand which operate as the most local tier of civil administration in England. Parish Councils were created by the Local Government Act of 1894 to allow a range of powers and responsibilities to be transferred from the church authorities to a civil and democratically-elected body – the Parish Council. It is therefore important to recognise the distinction between Parochial Church Councils (which administer church parishes) and Parish Councils (which are purely civil bodies).

By today most parish councils have a very limited role in directly providing services, which are now largely in the hands of Borough (planning, refuse collection, housing) or County (highways, education) Councils.  The role of our own Parish Council can therefore be listed in the following broad areas:

Acting as a local consultee: the Parish Council is consulted over planning applications and broader planning issues within its area. Although many are routine or small-scale on occasion the Council can be called upon to prepare detailed submissions in response to applications of particular local significance. The Council can also be involved in consultation regarding other local developments and issues, acting as a voice for the wider community in identifying priorities.

Supporting local organisations: the Parish Council can provide financial or other support to local organisations both directly or by assisting with access to other grant-making bodies.

Supplementing the work of other public bodies: sometimes the Parish Council can act to ‘upgrade’ the service provided by another authority, perhaps by supplying funding to enhance a basic level of service. For example the Council has recently part-funded repairs to a local bus shelter, and has arranged for the clearing of overgrown pavements.

Direct enhancement of the area: the Council is responsible for the maintenance of the Memorial Garden in the centre of Betley, has provided new/replacement public benches in all three villages, and facilitates Christmas lighting.

The work of the Parish Council is carried out by twelve elected councillors, assisted by one part-time employee, the Clerk to the Council. Six of the councillors represent Betley, with Balterley and Wrinehill each having three representatives. The councillors are unpaid.  The Council normally meets monthly, though meetings are not normally scheduled for August or December. Extra meetings are held if necessary, for example to deal with planning applications which need to be dealt with before the next scheduled meeting.