The number of councillors making up a parish council varies with the size of the parish - in Thorp Arch we have five. They were elected in May 2019 to serve for a period of four years and meet on the second Monday of each month, except for the month of August, or when the second Monday coincides with a school holiday. Their work is entirely voluntary; no councillor receives any payment for attending the meetings.
Under our present system local councillors have only limited control over how parishioners’ council tax money is spent. Their role is largely an advisory one in which they are consulted by and report to the Leeds Unitary Authority on local issues and corrective action is needed on any matters concerning the economic, social and environmental well-being of village residents. Matters requiring action every month tend to be planning applications and problems associated with highways, (namely road and pavement surfaces, overgrown hedges, trees and verges, defective road signs and street lighting), plus traffic problems of parking or speeding
The council meets in Lady Hastings School and the detailed agenda for each meeting is displayed on the Parish Council notice board (at Bridgefoot) for about six days before the start of the meeting.
One aim of the parish council is to ensure that our community continues to be an attractive and safe environment in which to live. Ironically, if it does its job correctly it becomes almost invisible. The job that absorbed the most effort in recent years, involving countless man-hours, was the provision of evidence for the Public Inquiry into the Leeds Unitary Development Plan. Yet we have nothing to show for it - except that Thorp Arch remains the attractive place it aspires to be and is not blighted by the sprawl of a vast housing estate on the edge of the trading estate that some planners wanted it to be!
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