FPC Application for Quality Council Status




In June 2003 the Quality Town and Parish Council Scheme was launched. This aims to bring even more autonomy to Town and Parish Councils, along with greater financial support from Central Government for projects and issues deemed by the local majority to be of most significance.

Why is Fulford Parish Council applying?

The Councillors of Fulford Parish Council are a progressive body, looking to deliver the highest levels of service to the local community.

The Council believe that by going through this learning exercise it will develop even closer links with the community and gain a greater understanding of its specific needs.

In addition, it is believed that this Council already conforms to most of the processes and checks put in place to ensure that it provides a high quality of service to the community. Committing to achieve this certification, and the subsequent benefits to the community, far outweigh the investment it will need to make in pulling together the application.

What do we need to do?

There are large criteria that must be met and documented to achieve "Quality Council" status.

As a resident of the Parish all you really need to do is to provide the Parish Council with your feedback, either through your involvement in local groups (we aim to consult as many groups as possible in this process), or by completing the questionnaire to the best of your ability, when it arrives through your door.

The criteria break down into 7 major components:

  • Electoral Mandate
  • Qualifications of the Clerk
  • Council Meetings
  • Communication
  • Annual Reports
  • Accounts
  • Ethical Framework

    Having run through the Government produced literature, Fulford Parish Council believe that it already conforms to a large percentage of the criteria.

    Minor elements that we are not currently conforming to have been identified, and we are actively working together to enhance our capabilities in these areas.

    An example of a deficiency, that has now been resolved, is the development of this website...

    A web presence was identified as a "must have" capability approx 1 year ago! The Newsletter Working Party was extended to encompass the development of the website, and agree on its associated contents. Its fair to say that the site is in full swing now and with hundreds of visitors, and more than 3000 page hits per month, appears to be well received.

    We still need to add FPC email addresses to the site to fully achieve the criteria for the QC status, and these will be forthcoming shortly.

    However, the priority has been to build a resource that anyone could navigate through, carries high quality content about the parish Council and the local area, and enables local residents to easily find their local representative.

    What Happens Next?

    What we need to do now is to gain a much better understanding of what the residents of the Parish feel are the current priorities for the area.

    Note:

    Whilst not all priorities will be under the direct influence of the Parish Council, the Council has excellent lines of communication with Staffordshire Borough and County Councils, as well as many external service providers. The Parish Council will work with these external bodies to communicate the required action and support them in whichever way it can legally do so.

    Understanding the priorities of the community.

    The first part of the process in developing this information was to send out a sample questionnaire to 100 randomly selected residents in the Parish.

    These deliberately brief questionnaires were evenly issued across the 4 Wards of the Parish and responses have been analysed.

    We are very pleased at the response we had from those asked to participate.

    The answers/suggestions were used to prepare the information, style, and layout presented in the full questionnaire document that went out to all households in the Parish in the spring of 2007.

    Over 900 responses from the enhanced questionnaire have been received and analysed, the key areas for improvement/enhancement have gone into the first draft of the Parish Plan.

    The Parish Plan will be an extensive document for which the Council has received Government funding to produce.

    The Plan will form the basis for Parish Council spending and focus for the next 5 years, and as this is a document for the residents of Fulford Parish, it will be available at either the newly commissioned Parish Office, or for download from this website.

    How Can I get Involved?

    If you are interested in helping to build the Parish Plan document, then please contact your local Parish Councillor.

    Additionally, if you belong to a local group (Mother and Toddler, Senior Citizens, Youth Club, other type of club/group etc) and want to have your input, we would be very happy to discuss this with you.

    In the first instance please send an email to the Clerk, OR fill in the contact form on this website to make direct contact with the Parish Plan Working Party.

    Where can I find out more information?

    There is much more information on the whole Quality Council subject, along with a comprehensive Q&A section, on the National Association of Local Councils website.

    To obtain updates as to our progress in building our Parish Plan please refer to the Parish Plan section of this site.