Introduction to Lowdham
Lowdham is a village and civil parish in Nottinghamshire between Nottingham and Southwell. It is in the Newark and Sherwood district, and at the 2011 census, had a population of 3,334. There are two main roads slicing through the village: the A6097 south-east to north-west dual carriageway, and the A612 between Nottingham and Southwell.
A local council is a universal term for community, neighbourhood, parish and town councils. They are the first tier of local government and are statutory bodies. They serve electorates and are independently elected and raise their own precept (a form of council tax). There are 10,000 local councils in England with over 30% of the country parished and 80,000 councillors who serve in these local councils, with over £1b being invested into these communities every year.
Local councils work towards improving community well-being and providing better services. Their activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community; delivering services to meet local needs; striving to improve quality of life and community well-being.
Through an extensive range of discretionary powers local councils provide and maintain a variety of important and visible local services including allotments, bridleways, burial grounds, bus shelters, car parks, commons and open spaces, community transport schemes, community safety and crime reduction measures, events and festivals, footpaths, leisure and sports facilities, litter bins, public toilets, planning, street cleaning and lighting, tourism activities, traffic calming measures, village greens and youth projects.
The government is giving local councils more power to decide how to spend public money in their areas so they can meet local people’s needs. At the same time, the government is helping to make sure Council Tax payers get value for money by making councils more transparent and accountable
Local people are more in touch with what their local community or neighbourhood needs or wants than Whitehall. Town and parish councillors are the backbone of their communities and have the support of local people. The Localism Act is the government’s affirmation that we support communities, and through the Act have introduced a range of ways that communities, with the help of town and parish councillors, can bring to life the changes they want to see. This guide has been produced to help you use a range of tools, including those provided by the Localism Act, to help make decisions about the things that directly affect you, enabling stronger, more vibrant, more resilient and independent communities.
As the first tier of local government, parish and town councils are uniquely placed to make a major contribution to localism. If we are to play a significant part in democracy, it is essential we fully understand our role and responsibilities. I strongly commend this guide to both experienced and new councillors as it clearly defines the required core skills including ongoing development and training. This is so very necessary if we are to better serve our local community and respond to the many challenges that lie ahead.