What does the Parish Council do?

The roles of Farningham Parish Council (FPC) are to represent the interests of the local community; provide services to meet local needs and improve quality of life and well-being in the community.

Parish Councils are statutory bodies, the first tier of local government and are accountable to the electorate of the Parish. Whilst any Parish Council has limited powers, by representing community interests they can influence other layers of Government who have legal duties to deliver services such as planning, education, transport, and social services. In our case these bodies are Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) and Kent County Council (KCC).

FPC receives a 'Precept' (a calculation of money) through Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) which SDC collects as part of your Council Tax. With this money the Parish Council pays for many of the facilities and services it provides.

The responsibilities that FPC takes on include Street Lighting, Bus Shelters, provision of litter bins, and sometimes with SDC the care of Open Spaces and play areas. FPC owns some 50% of Farningham Woods, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We are also able to help to support local groups and initiatives. Decisions on planning are taken by SDC but as a Statutory Consultee we are asked by SDC for our views on any Planning Proposals within the Parish of Farningham. FPC maintains a working interest in the River Darent - including the habitat and the quality, health & flow of water - in liaison with the Environment Agency and other bodies.

FPC is made up of 7 Councillors who live locally. They are voted into their posts by the electorate of the Parish, or co-opted, to form a Council which adheres to its pattern of monthly meetings to make decisions in the best interests of the local community.

Councillors are required to follow a Code of Conduct which includes requirements to act selflessly and with integrity.

Councillors are not paid but volunteer their time to serve the Parish.

The Councillors are supported by a Clerk who is a paid employee, reporting to the Council.

Parish Council meetings are open to the public and the dates are available on our Meeting Dates page. Rules which detail how Council Meetings are to be run are set out in the Standing Orders. Minutes of meetings which record our business and decisions can be found on the Agendas and Minutes page. A summary of key areas discussed at meetings is included in The Trident magazine published by the local churches (available on subscription); and also distributed to parishioners who have signed up to our mailing list.

Views of the public are welcomed by participation at FPC meetings, or by members of the Public contacting the Clerk or Councillors

The following lists help explain what each Council is responsible for and to point you in the right direction should you have a query. Anyone can report faults with the appropriate authority.