Tonight I will be attending the first meeting of Little Altcar Parish Council in 2010. They have invited the Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton to attend this normal Parish Council meeting. They do this every year at this time and so far as I am aware they are the only Parish Council in Sefton to issue such an invitation. I have been included because of my former membership of the Little Altcar Parish Council.
There will be others who have been invited and I have very warm memories, in particular, of other such meetings in the old Formby Town Hall Council Chamber. Representatives of the Police, the Armed Forces, the Fire Service and others serving in Local Government used to attend.
Parish Councillors are not paid allowances neither do they claim expenses, their service to the community is voluntary.
The Chair of the Parish Council will give a speech to welcome the Mayor and other guests, this will be followed by a speech of thanks by the Mayor. A ritual, yes, but a symbol of active civic life at local level. Parish Councillors are not paid allowances neither do they claim expenses, their service to the community is voluntary. Parish Councils are the very first tier of local Government and if we are to believe all that is being said by our national politicians, then Parish Councils are likely to take a larger role in future in local life.
If you can, please try to attend at least one Parish Council meeting a year. Councillors would be thrilled to answer your questions or act on your suggestions. Every meeting includes a 'public forum' for just such public participation.