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The Chair introduced the subject for discussion and asked members of the working party to ask questions or make comments in relation to the responses they received from cabinet members through the survey questionnaire.
Working Party Members made comments and asked questions as follows:
· In your view as cabinet members, how do parish and town councils expect to fund any additional services if they were handed over additional functions by the district council?
· Could parishes co-manage some of these functions with the district council; for example by managing the toilets facilities around the district?
· The district would only come in if there was an emergency (i.e. if the bill was too high for a parish to pay);
· A parish/town council could offer to take on a service. However the issue is about having a transparent relationship between the parishes and TDC in sharing these services;
· The principal council should know what it wants from this proposed relationship with parishes;
· One way of collaborative working was for TDC to host the Member training programme that would include parish and town councillors, particularly for the induction of newly elected Members in May 2023;
· There is a need to hold regular meetings between TDC and parish and town councils. These meetings would be attended by parish and town clerks and chairs representing parishes;
· If there was going to be a handover of functions and assets that need to be done in a structured way for such arrangements;
· It might be that the precepts presentation could be restructured;
· There is also a need to understand the risks involved for any services that would be handed down to parishes;
· Should the Parish Forum be restored? It might be that this recommendation could be formally presented to cabinet;
· The re-established Parish Forum could have new terms of reference;
· These meetings could be held bi monthly;
· There is a need to come up with an updated list of town and parish clerks;
· Information on the newly created Parish Forum could then be circulated to all parishes.
Cabinet Member responded to sub group comments and questions as follows:
· Parish and town councils could raise a precept to fund additional functions if functions were handed down to them;
· Parishes could take over parking. Birchington ground was now managed by the parish council. This had provided an opportunity for local participation;
· This enhances connectivity between the parishes and district council;
· Parishes could be handed over some of the non statutory functions and share such responsibilities as the management of toilets;
· Parishes and the district council could co manage some functions with the TDC coming in on emergency matters lie in instances where there was huge bill to be paid;
· As the pressures on the district council budget increases the council will need to come to decide to let go of some non statutory functions;
· Parish and Town Councils could run commercially as they do not have as many responsibilities as the district council;
· They could provide a better service for ... view the full minutes text for item 4.