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About Us

Who are our Parish Councillors?

Parish Councils are the smallest unit of local government and the closest to their electors. Councillors are elected and work to support and improve the area they represent. Risby Parish Council has 7 councillors. Councillors are elected for a period of four years. The next election will take place in 2023.

The parish councillors for Risby are:

Mr Derrick Abrey (Chairman)
Mr Ian Turner (Vice-chairman
Mr Chris Sutton (councillor)
Mrs Jill Gray (councillor)
Mr Steve Smith (councillor)
Mr Simon Gray (councillor)
Mr Julian Read (councillor).

The parish clerk is Ms Joanne Kirk. She can be contacted by email or by phone.

The email address for Risby Parish Council is risbyparishcouncil@yahoo.co.uk

The phone number is 07880 686069 (Monday - Thursday during office hours

Register of Interest forms can be viewed on the West Suffolk Council website.

Do councillors get paid?

No, councillors are volunteers though they can claim travel expenses if they attend meetings outside the parish.

Why do people become councillors?

People usually become councillors because they care about their community and want to give something back.

How often does the Parish Council meet?

The Council meets every two months in January, March, May, July, September and November. Meeting usually take place on the first Thursday of these months. Additional planning meetings may be held if planning applications come in between meetings. Occasionally extraordinary meetings may also be called if there is an issue which needs to be dealt with between meetings.

There is also an Annual Parish Meeting which usually takes place in May. This is an open meeting for all electors of Risby and an opportunity to ask questions relating to village affairs.

What does the Parish Council actually do?

The Parish Council is responsible for setting the precept. This is money that the Council receives to cover the cost of the services it provides and any staff costs. The precept is one element of the Council Tax householders pay. The Council employs a clerk to oversee its day to day affairs.

The Council is consulted on planning applications within the village

The Council is responsible for some property in the village including the village sign, the bus shelters, the dog bins and grit bins, the footpath maps and the defibrillator which has been installed in the newly adopted phone box in School Road.

It is also the responsibility of the Council to make sure that the Green and other public areas are maintained. The Council employs a local contractor to cut the grass on the Green and other public areas.

The Council provides allotments for village residents

The Council insures and maintains the war memorial

The Council organised funding to improve the village ponds

The Council acts as a link with other local government organisations like St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council. Any problems in the village such as blocked drains, potholes, broken stiles on footpaths or faulty street lights are reported by the clerk.

The Council has its own website to provide information about the Council, its meetings and useful contacts.

What is the clerk's role?

The role of the clerk is extremely varied. The clerk manages the day-to-day affairs of the Council including the Council's financial affairs. Her responsibilities include organising meetings, dealing with correspondence and acting as a point of contact for members of the public and other organisations. She may also carry out functions formally delegated by the Council, such as reporting highways or rights of way issues. The clerk provides impartial advice and guidance to councillors to enable them to make decisions and to ensure that current legislation is complied with. She also researches matters brought to the attention of the Council and ensures that all the information required by councillors is made available to them. The current clerk is qualified having completed the Certificate in Local Council Administration.

What happens at meetings?

Parish Councils make decisions on a variety of issues including finance, planning, highways and rights of ways issues. All decisions have to be minuted to provide a true and accurate record of the meeting. Once the minutes have been approved they are signed by the Chairman and cannot be changed.

How can I find out the dates of meetings?

Dates of meetings are set well in advance and publicised in the village newsletter and on the village website.

Could the agendas be published in The Stile?

No. Agendas are usually only published 3 working days before meetings and are advertised on the village notice board and website. Only matters which have been included on the agenda can be discussed at meetings, which is why agendas are not published too far in advance.

Can members of the public attend meetings?

Yes. Parish council meetings are open to members of the public but they are not allowed to address the Council during the meeting. The Council holds an Open Forum at the start of each meeting to give residents an opportunity to talk to councillors about any items on the agenda or any concerns they may have. 15 minutes is set aside at the start of each meeting, though this can be extended if necessary.

What if I want to become a councillor?

Do you want to support your community and help to improve it? Are you prepared to work with other councillors to make decisions? Are you able to be objective and represent the needs of the whole community? If you want to become a councillor, let the clerk know so that she can contact you if a casual vacancy arises because a councillor has resigned or put your name forward at the next elections. Elections are advertised on the notice board and in the newsletter.