Lymm Parish Council
The Lymm Parish Council website is here: www.lymmparishcouncil.gov.uk
The following was written by one of Lymm's Parish Councillor's to explain the local political hierarchy.
Lymm Parish council is the lowest level of government. There are 12 parish councillors, who with a crack team of staff, work hard to keep the village tidy, review but don't decide on planning issues and spend a small part of your council tax on local things. The parish is consulted on some plans - such as road schemes etc, but has very limited powers. The councillors are unpaid, and if you have a problem, you can contact either the Parish Clerk, or a specific councillor. Councillors are elected, unpaid representatives. www.lymmparishcouncil.gov.uk/the-council/councillors
Warrington Borough council is the upper level of local government, and is responsible for roads, bins being emptied, streets being swept, parks being maintained, adult social care, youth services, all of the Primary schools in Lymm, deciding planning issues, premises licencing (Including alcohol, street licences for tables etc), plus a hundred and one other things. This is where the majority of your council tax goes to, but it's worth pointing out that historically, the council would have received a large chunk of money from central government - and with changes to funding and austerity, that chunk had dropped hugely, while at the same time councils have become responsible for funding a wider range of services. The council employees carry out the majority of the day to day council duties and in many cases make decisions, but we are also represented by 5 Borough Councillors, 2 in Lymm South, and 3 in Lymm North. These councillors are remunerated between £8-17K a year (depending on duties) to represent you, and make council decisions on your behalf. It's always worth speaking to the council directly if you have a query - they are actually quite good at responding - I always look at the council website first, and raise matters directly with the officer concerned, but if you have a problem, or need some help with the Borough, you can contact your councillor directly - you can find them here. www.warrington.gov.uk/councillors
Then at the national level we have the government, which makes policy decisions we may or may not agree with, sets things like tax rates, and produces laws. MPs can assist their constituents in a variety of ways, from making private enquiries on your behalf, to raising matters publicly in the House of Commons. In Lymm our MP is Andy Carter and you can firstly see how he has been representing us in Parliament here: www.theyworkforyou.com-andycarter and you can see how to contact him here www.andycarter.org.uk MP's are of course paid a basic salary of ££84,144 a year, and also have allowances to run a local constituency office to help any constituent.
Politicians do get involved in local campaigns, that may be wider than their elected remit - that's not really surprising, but you need to direct your enquiry to the correct place - if you have questions about how to get planning permission for an extension, really that's best directed to the Borough Council, not the Parish or MP, if you want to hire the village hall, then contact the Parish, and not a different tier, and if you want to campaign about pension age for women (for example), then that's something to raise with your MP - the Parish and Borough have no influence on this.
Where things get more complex is where your concern is about an issue that cuts through different levels. In Lymm, people want the village centre keeping tidy, so the Parish Council has taken on street cleaning duties alongside the Borough, but it's actually the Borough Council who has responsibilities to keep the litter picked. So a report to the Borough might also be worth copying to the Parish. But the funds paying for street cleaning have hugely fallen in recent years, so you might also want to contact our MP, to ask the government to fund our councils adequately.
Ultimately that's politics - deciding what rules and regulations we've got in place, and how it's going to be funded - how much of the national income is going to be spent on the services we all want - be it decent schools, the NHS or tidy street.
As a lowly parish councillor, I see a large part of my role is signposting people to the right place to sort an issue - so when you have a concern and post in on Facebook, I'll usually give you the place to report it properly, or who to contact to sort out the issue, but it's always worth directing any queries to the right level of government.