Parish Councils were established as the first tier of local government in 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. Great Houghton Parish Council discharges its duties and powers within the law and according to its governance policies. These policies are reviewed annually.
The rules governing the behaviour of Parish councillors are set out in the Code of Conduct issued by central government in April 2007. Parish Councillors work to rules on how business is conducted, as set out in the Standing Orders adopted by the Parish Council. Great Houghton’s Standing Orders also include information on:
- Procedures at the Annual Parish Meeting;
- Financial Regulations, including Procurement Policy;
- Committee Structure and Scheme of Delegation;
- Terms of Reference of Committees;
- Code of Conduct supplementary guidance.
Further details on the governance and procedures of Parish Councils can be found in the Local Government Act 1972, the Localism Act 2011 (overview) and the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities. A guide for good governance is also provided in the Governance Toolkit for Parish & Town Councils, produced in partnership between the National Association of Local Councils, the Society of Local Council Clerks, Standards for England and the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors and is endorsed by the Local Government Association (2009).
Great Houghton Parish Council is a member of the Northants County Association of Local Councils (NCALC) which provides support and training for the Parish Councillors and the Parish Clerk.