Parish councils are corporate bodies. They are the first tier of local government in England & Wales and, for most electors, provide the most accessible forum for debating and developing local issues. Parish Councils are elected for a term of 4 years with the current term ending in May 2019.
All local authorities must conduct their business in an open and transparent way and comply with statutory requirements about decision making and the activities they undertake. Exbourne with Jacobstowe has also signed up to the Transparency Code. This code permits small parishes, those with an annual turnover of less than £25,000, to avoid the expense of an external audit provided that they publish a number of financial and other documents. These and other papers of interest are listed below. Some of them relate to the Council's full term of office, such as Standing Orders and the Code of Conduct, and others to particular financial years.
Exbourne with Jacobstowe Parish Council has 7 councillors. The Parish Clerk is a paid employee of the council – not a councillor, and therefore is not required to stand for election. Their role is to advise the Council, prepare minutes and agendas, provide financial control and undertake other administrative duties. He or she does not take part in any voting.
Declarations. At the start of their term of office, each Councillor must sign a declaration that they "will duly and faithfully fulfill the duties" of the Council, and provide a list of any financial and other interests about which they might be expected to declare an interest if they had to be debated by the Council.
The Code of Conduct establishes how Councillors will behave towards each other and the public while carrying out their duties.
Standing Orders set out the rules about how meetings and the day to day business of the Council will be conducted.
The Risk Assessment identifies sensitive areas of decision-making, financial matters or other types of risk and how the Council proposes to mitigate them.
Financial Regulations set out in detail how the Council will conduct its financial affairs and ensure probity, security and sound financial management.