Media and Communications Policy

The Media and Communications Policy is advised by the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, as issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The code is statutory guidance and therefore Members and Officers of Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council must have regard to it and follow its provisions. Failure to follow the Media and Communications Policy could lead to a breach of the statutory code and the risk of adverse publicity, which could damage the Council’s reputation.

Volunteer Policy

This policy sets out the principles for voluntary involvement in activities authorised by Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council. The Council acknowledge that volunteers contribute in many ways, and that volunteering can benefit the Council, the local community and the volunteers themselves. This policy applies to volunteers working on behalf of Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council; (not employees and/or Councillors). Volunteers undertaking authorised activities only, pursuant to this policy, will be covered by the Council’s insurance.

Pension Discretion Policy

The Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations require employers who participate in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) to draw up and publish a discretions policy and to keep it under review. The policy sets out how Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council will apply certain discretions allowed under the Pensions Regulations.

Dignity at Work policy

Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council believes that civility and respect are important in the working environment, and expect all councillors, officers and the public to be polite and courteous when working for, and with the Parish Council. Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council is committed to creating a working environment where all council employees, councillors, contractors and others who come into contact with us in the course of our work, are treated with dignity, respect and courtesy. We aim to create a workplace where there is zero tolerance for harassment and bullying

Civility & Respect Pledge

This certificate is to certify that Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council has signed up to the Civility & Respect Pledge.

Playground Inspection & Maintenance Policy

Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council is responsible for managing and maintaining the play equipment at the Lady Hope Playpark in Plaistow. The Playground Inspection & Maintenance Policy sets out the requirements for regular visual and maintenance inspections and an independent full inspection annually. The Policy outlines how the Council will respond to issues raised in relation to equipment and how it will ensure the playpark is safe for people to use.

Working Groups Policy

The Parish Council and any of its standing Committees can set up Working Groups to carry out tasks as defined by the Council or the Committee. The purpose of Working Groups, which are formed from both Councillors and members of the public is to meet to discuss issues, explore options and develop plans and then report back to the Council or Committee with recommendations. Subsequently, Working Groups may be tasked to deliver their plans. They have no decision making powers, but simply present the Council or Committee with their findings. However, their ability to give particular topics that much more time - outside agenda-driven public meetings - is invaluable to the efficient and effective working of the Parish Council.

Grant Awarding Policy

Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council welcomes and values the work of local groups, organisations, and charities in creating and improving quality of life for parish residents and the area. The Parish Council has the General Power of Competence, which denotes the power to do anything lawful that individuals may generally do. Each year, the Parish Council's annual budget includes an amount for grant funding. Its Grant Awarding Policy sets out how it can provide funding to those who meet the eligibility criteria and contribute to the welfare of the community.

Legionella Policy

Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, which can affect anybody. The most common form of transmission is inhalation of contaminated water droplets where there are clouds of fine water vapour. The Parish Council owns and is responsible for the Cricket Pavilion on Plaistow village green. It has a legal duty to control legionella bacteria in the building’s water system(s).

Marquee Borrowing Policy

Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council are happy to loan marquees to community groups and individuals on the understanding that the client agrees with the Terms & Conditions set out in the Policy. Decisions are made by the Council upon application to borrow the marquees (please email the Clerk) and remain at the sole discretion of the Council. The Council reserves the right to decline any application.

Freedom of Information and Publication Scheme

Complaints Procedure

Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council is committed to providing the best service it can for the benefit of the people who live or work in its area or are visitors to the locality. The Complaints Procedure sets out how any dissatisfaction regarding the standard of the service that has been received from Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council or any action, or lack of action, by the Parish Council can be brought to its attention and how the Parish Council will try to resolve any issues.

Co-Option Policy

This policy sets out the procedure to ensure that there is compliance with legislation and that a fair and equitable process is carried out in the co-option of Member(s) to fill a casual vacancy on the Parish Council. The Co-option procedure is entirely managed by the Parish Council.

Biodiversity Policy

Biodiversity is the whole variety of life on Earth. It includes not just the rare or the threatened, but also the wildlife that is familiar to us. Under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 there is a duty on public authorities in England, including Parish Councils to have regard to conserving and enhancing biodiversity as part of their policy or decision making. This duty was further strengthened by the Environment Act 2021. The Council's Biodiversity policy sets out how the Council will consider its duty to conserve and enhance biodiversity within the Parish.

Tree Management Policy

The Council values trees and hedgerows for the significant contribution they make to biodiversity, wellbeing, and quality of life within the Parish; and seeks to preserve the Parish's trees for future generations. The Policy sets out the Council's duty to ensure that its tree stock is safe and healthy.

Data Protection Policy

The Council is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses the personal data of staff, and to meeting its data protection obligations. This policy applies to the personal data of current and former job applicants, employees, workers, contractors, and former employees, referred to as HR-related personal data. This policy does not apply to the personal data relating to members of the public or other personal data processed for Council business.

Expenses Policy

This policy sets out how the Council will reimburse any reasonable and authorised expenses incurred by Staff or Councillors in the performance of their normal duties.

Freedom of Information Policy

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is intended to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public authorities by providing people with rights of access to the information held by them. This policy sets out how the Council will comply with the requirements of the Act.

Internal Controls Policy

The Council is responsible for ensuring that there is an adequate and effective system of internal audit of its accounting records, and of its system of internal control in accordance with Proper Practices. The system of internal control is designed to ensure that the Council’s activities are carried out properly and as intended.

Pond Policy

The aim of this policy is to ensure that Plaistow Pond is a safe place for the community’s enjoyment. The Council will produce and/or review a Pond Risk Assessment annually, which is appended to this policy.

Risk Management Scheme 2023 - 2024

Pre-Application Discussion

The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) makes clear that it is appropriate for someone proposing development to engage with a Local Planning Authority and with statutory consultees, including a parish council before a planning application is submitted. Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council welcomes the opportunity for an exchange of information before a planning application of significance to the parish is submitted. These can be beneficial to both the promoter and residents.

Investment Policy

The Local Government Act 2003, s.12 provides a local authority with the power to invest. This policy sets out how the Council will use this power.

Debit Card Use Policy

This policy sets out how the Council's Debit Card shall be used.

Asset Register

Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council's Fixed Asset Register has four main purposes: 1. It forms a basis for completion of box 9 in the 'Annual Return'; 2. It forms a basis for decisions on risk and insurance issues; 3. It provides information on the age and potential lifespan of certain items; 4. It provides assurance of the continued existence of Council's property. The Register is adopted by the Council at the beginning of each financial year, but is a working document which is updated as necessary.

Governance and Accountability for Smaller Authorities in England

The Practitioners’ Guide is issued by the Joint Panel on Accountability and Governance (JPAG) to support the preparation by smaller authorities in England of statutory annual accounting and governance statements found in the Annual Governance and Accountability Return. The 2024 edition of the Guide applies in respect of financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2024.

Staff Recruitment Policy

Staff Recruitment Policy adopted May 2024

Equal Opportunities Policy

Equal Opportunities Policy Adopted May 2024

Staff Disciplinary Policy

Staff Disciplinary Policy Adopted May 2024

Staff Grievance Policy

Staff Grievance Policy Adopted May 2024

Staff Sickness and Absence Policy

Staff Sickness and Absence Policy Adopted May 2024

Finance Committee Terms of Reference

The Finance Committee is constituted to work with the Clerk/RFO to support Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council in the effective management of the Council’s finances, property, and resources. The Committee is delegated plenary decision-making powers in respect of the matters outlined within section 4 of this Terms of Reference.

Finance Working Group Terms of Reference

The Council recognises the invaluable ability of Working Groups to provide focused attention to specific topics, outside of the time constraints of agenda-driven public meetings and consequently are an integral tool in delivering community service. The purpose of the Finance Working Group is to work with the Finance Committee and RFO in the management of the Council’s financial resources and to consider and recommend strategy and action on policy and operational matters concerned with the Council’s finances, property, and resources.

Planning Committee Terms of Reference

Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council is a Statutory Consultees within the planning process – an advisory body to the Local Planning Authority (Chichester District Council) – for all planning applications that relate to the Parish area. The Planning & Open Spaces Committee is constituted to consider and respond to planning applications on behalf of the Council.

Planning Working Group

The Council recognises the invaluable ability of Working Groups to provide focused attention to specific topics, outside of the time constraints of agenda-driven public meetings and consequently are an integral tool in delivering community service. The aim of the Planning Working Group is to provide support to the Council and the Planning & Open Spaces Committee with complex planning applications, which require significant amounts of reading, analysis, meetings with instructed experts/consultants (instructed by resolution of either the Council or Committee) and in the preparation of recommendations and ideas on how to respond.

Winter & Emergency Plan Committee Terms of Reference

The Council is committed to helping residents become more resilient and prepared to respond to adverse weather, major incidents, and emergencies; particularly whilst they wait for assistance from the emergency services and/or principal authorities. The Winter & Emergency Plan Committee is constituted to support the Council’s objective and to work with West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and Chichester District Council (CDC) to achieve this aim.

Playpark Working Group Terms of Reference

Playpark Working Group Terms of Reference

Newsletter Working Group

The aim of the Working Group is to provide the Council with recommendations and ideas on the contents and format of its bi-annual Newsletter and support the Council in its drafting and publication.

HR Committee Terms of Reference

The Human Resources Committee oversees management of the Council's staff.

Standing Orders

Standing Orders are the written rules of the Parish Council. These are the agreed procedures for the way the Council will work with regard to discussions, decision-making, the conduct of meetings and the setting up of committees and other Council officers. They are used to confirm the Council's internal organisational, administrative and procurement procedures. They are not the same as the policies of the Council, but they may refer to them. All Parish Councils should adopt a set of Standing Orders.

Financial Regulation

These Financial Regulations govern the conduct of financial management by the Parish Council and may only be amended or varied by resolution of the Council. Financial regulations are one of the Council’s 3 governing policy documents providing procedural guidance for Members and Officers. Financial regulations must be observed in conjunction with the Council’s Standing Orders and any individual financial regulations relating to contracts. The Parish Council is responsible in law for ensuring that its financial management is adequate and effective and that the Council has a sound system of internal controls which facilitates the effective exercise of the Council’s functions, including arrangements for the management of risk.

Code of Conduct

Local authorities such as Parish Councils are required to adopt a code of conduct, which sets out rules governing the behaviour of their Members and satisfies the requirements of the Localism Act 2011. All elected, co-opted and independent Members of Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council are required to abide by the formally adopted code of conduct which seeks to ensure that Members observe the highest standards of conduct in their civic role.

Scheme of Delegation

A Scheme of Delegation sets out the remit of the full Council, its Sub-Committees and staff. In particular, the document allows No Comment planning decisions to be made by the Proper Officer, consequently allowing some Planning Meetings to be vacated.