Welcome to the SFPC home page! Here you should find all you need to know about the parish council, under the following headings:
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
- The services we offer.
1. Who we are and what we do
Sibford Ferris Parish Council consists of five members from our community who each serve for a period of four years. The next election of the full council will be in May 2018. If, for any reason, a councillor cannot serve their full term the remaining councillors have the power to co-opt a replacement councillor to serve until the next full election. Parish councillors are non-party political and are not paid for parish council work. The parish council employs a Parish Clerk to carry out the day to day business of the council. The clerk advises the council on correct procedures but has no vote at council meetings.
The current members of the parish council are:
At present the Parish Clerk can be contacted via email only: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO), appointed by the council to administer the council’s finances, is the Clerk.
In order to deal effectively with planning applications within the usual three week consultation period, the parish council appoints a Planning Committee.
Chair, Vice Chair and Planning Committee are re-appointed annually at the Annual Parish Council Meeting.
2. What we spend and how we spend it
The parish council is financed by a precept which is a tax on the residents of the parish, collected by Cherwell District Council as part of Council Tax. The amount of the precept is decided annually by the parish council; for the financial year 2017/18 it is £6,858, the same as in the previous two years. It averages out at about £40 per household.
At its January meeting (usually), the parish council approves its budget for the coming financial year and publishes it in the meeting archive. The council reviews financial status at each regular parish council meeting and publishes spreadsheets showing all payments and receipts, progress against budget and bank reconciliation in the meeting archive.
Financial management is governed by the council’s Financial Regulations which are reviewed and re-approved by the council annually.
In 2016/17 the council made the following donations and grants to local organisations:
The council currently has one supplier contract, for mowing the grass in the Cotswold Close play area, worth about £300. In 2016/17 we also contributed £1138 towards maintenance of the village Burial Ground, the contract for which is let by Sibford Gower Parish Council.
Other significant items of expenditure include
Along with most other parish councils, we do not pay any allowances or expenses to councillors.
3. What our priorities are and how we are doing
At the Annual Parish Meeting (not to be confused with the Annual Parish Council Meeting), the Chair reports on the council’s business for the preceding twelve months and there is an opportunity for residents to ask questions and comment on the activities of the parish council. All the reports presented at the Annual Parish Meeting are published in the meeting minutes, in the Meeting Archive.
4. How we make decisions
As far as possible, all parish council decision-making is carried out in public, at parish council meetings. These are advertised on the village notice board and on this web site and are held approximately every two months.
Members of the public may attend parish council meetings and may record or broadcast the proceedings. If you intend to record or report on our meetings, please read our guidelines first.
Members of the public have no legal right to speak at meetings, but in practice the Chair usually encourages questions and discussion, subject only to maintaining order and reasonable timekeeping.
By law, the parish council may only make decisions (especially if they involve expenditure) on matters that have been itemised in the meeting agenda, which must be published on the village notice board and website three clear days before the meeting. To propose a topic for the agenda, please contact the Parish Clerk or a councillor in good time.
Agendas, reports and minutes of meetings are published in the Meeting Archive.
Planning Committee Meetings are conducted in the same way. The council’s responses to planning applications are published on the Cherwell District Council website.
5. Our policies and procedures
The rules and guidelines we observe in conducting council business are laid down in our Standing Orders.
Members of the council all undertake to follow the Code of Conduct published by Cherwell District Council.
We hope that you don’t need it, but if you wish to complain about some service provided by the parish council, please refer to our Complaints Procedure.
Other policies and procedures are:
6. Lists and registers
Our Assets Register lists all assets owned and maintained by the parish council.
Each councillor is required to disclose any financial interest which others might reasonably consider to influence their actions or words as a member of the parish council. They must do this upon appointment, and subsequently update it when a new interest arises. The disclosures are recorded in a Register of Interests for each member, which can be viewed on the Cherwell District Council website (click on the member’s name to view).
7. The services we offer
The parish council owns and maintains, for public use:
- several roadside benches
- the village notice board at Lanes End
- playground equipment in Cotswolds Close play area
- fitness equipment next to the Multi-Use Games Area.
The Mult-Use Games Area (MUGA) in the grounds of Sibford School was opened in 2011, jointly funded by the school and the parish council. It is available for public use from 4.15pm every evening, until 9pm October to March, 10pm April to September.
Volunteers perform weekly and monthly inspections of the Cotswold Close playground equipment, using this checklist. The equipment is also checked annually by a professional inspector. Sibford School takes responsibility for similar inspections of the MUGA and fitness equipment.
The parish council owns Pitch Hill Field, an area of 0.409 acres located north of the telephone exchange. It is one of five former public stone quarries and is currently rented out for occasional grazing at £5 per year. The cost and date of acquisition by the parish council is unknown.
Any other questions?
The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and to publish information covered by the scheme. We have adopted the Model Publication Scheme for public authorities that is published by the ICO. We have produced a list of information that we publish under this scheme, and this webpage is intended to meet our commitment to publish all the information included in that list. If you think we have left anything out or that there is other information we should publish, please let us know via the Parish Clerk.