Aims and Rules
Our four committees meet in public and aim to be open and accessible and engage local people in decision making.
- Finance and General Purpose Committee
- Planning Committee
- Open Spaces Committee
- Allotments Committee
- Road safety
- Each committee has a one-item spending limit of £1000 and a yearly total limit. Spending above those limits (and any grant/donation) requires a vote by the full council.
- Each Committee will publish meeting dates on this website and schedule at least one meeting a year.
- Each committee can form working parties to work on specific tasks or projects. Working parties can meet informally and have no decision making powers or budget.
- Non-councillors can be a member of any committee or working party except Finance & General Purpose.
- You can read our committee's terms of reference on our policies page.
- The Council Chair can attend and vote at any committee meeting.
1. Finance and General Purpose (F&GP) Committee
Chair: Michela Capozzi; Members: Gordon Godfrey, Mark Somervail, Jon Clarke
We check our clerk's financial reports and audit. An explanation of the headings in our clerk's annual statement is here.Every month we check that all NPC spending complies with our financial regulations. For example:
- Contracts over £20,000 require 3 sealed tenders; over £3000 require 3 quotations; and over £100 require 3 estimates
We consider how best to spend the parish council's four main sources of income:
- A slice of the local council tax (the precept), which in 2021 was £33,000.
- Annual grants from Dacorum Borough Council to pay for maintaining public spaces, which in 2021 was £20,336.
- Renting out facilities that we own such as the allotments, which in 2020 raised £8206.
- Windfalls, such as Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money from a property developer to improve local infrastructure, which in 2021 was £76,033.
- Grants that we applied for. In 2020, we received a grant for our Wildflower Verge project of £1,800.
By November each year, we submit proposals to the full NPC about how these funds should be earmarked for future spending.
We also look at potential cost-savings. For example, we maintain 37 old-style street lamps. Every few years, we have to replace the bulbs at £400 per bulb or £14,000 in total. So we are changing to LED lights, which last for between 15 and 20 years, and transferring responsibility to Hertfordshire County Council. The transfer cost is £15,281. This will lead to substantial medium to long term savings for the council.
2. Planning Committee
Chair: Beryl Edwards; Members: Neil Pocock (Vice Chair), Godfrey, , Susan Rees, Mark Somervail
Before deciding whether to grant or refuse a planning application, our Local Planning Authority, Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) must consider the views of Northchurch Parish Council. We check all planning applications within the parish and send our comments to DBC for their consideration. We meet in public regularly. If you would like to attend, please contact our clerk.
You can search for a planning application and make your own comment.
3. Open Spaces Committee
Chair: Jon Clarke; Members: , Mark Somervail (Vice Chair), Michela Capozzi, Lara Pringle, Gordon Godfrey, Neil Pocock, and non-councillors John Porter and Claire James
We aim to protect and increase public access to the Green Belt and other open spaces such as the Recreation Ground, to preserve the environment, and to promote biodiversity.
Chair: Gordon Godfrey; Members: Neil Pocock (Vice Chair), Sue Rees and Beryl Edwards
We manage the allotments with the Clerk and set the annual rent. We aim to promote biodiversity and to improve the health and mental wellbeing of local people.
1. Local Plan Working Party
Chair: Jon Clarke. Members: all parish councillors
This working group was established at a full parish council meeting on 23 11 20 to publicise Dacorum Borough Council's new Local Plan and to encourage local people to take part in the 10-week consultation period starting on 28 11 20.
2. Policies and HR Working Party
Chair: Jon Clarke. Members: Mark Somervail, Gordon Godfrey, Sue Rees and Beryl Edwards
This working group was established at a full council meeting in March 2018 and meets twice a year to review and manage policies, councillor vacancies, and conduct issues.
3. Road Safety Party
Chair: Lara Pringle; Members: Jon Clarke, Susan Rees, Mark Somervail, Michela Capozzi
We aim to identify danger spots and make our roads safer.