What is the Council?
Holme Valley Parish Council is the first tier of local government covering the administrative area of the Holme Valley. It covers a predominantly rural area and alongside Kirkburton and Denby Dale Parish Councils, and Meltham and Mirfield Town Councils, helps shape the decisions affecting the local community by working with Kirklees Metropolitan Council.
For more information about how the Council relates to Kirklees click here to visit the Kirklees Council website.
How is the Council funded?
The Council receives the majority of its funding from an annual charge, called the precept, which is levied on its local electors. This is set each year by the Council as part of its annual budget setting process and is collected on its behalf by Kirklees Council. The level of precept depends on the range and nature of the Council’s activities.
Who is on the Council?
There are 23 councillors who serve for a four-year term and meet every 6-8 weeks as a full Council to discuss issues concerning the area. Most of the current Members were elected, re-elected or co-opted in May/June 2015 so will represent their wards until Spring 2019. As at July 2016, the Council has one vacancy in the Honley West Ward. Councillors are all unpaid and committed to working for the benefit of the community; they welcome residents and businesses contacting them regarding any local issues.
The Council employs a Clerk who co-ordinates the meetings and oversees the effective running of the Council. The Clerk is also the Council’s Responsible Financial Officer.
A full list of the current councillors (Members) and their contact details is provided on the Contacts page.
To find out who your particular councillor is, you may find this list useful: Wards, streets and postcodes.
The Council adopted a new Code of Conduct on 20 May 2013. A summary is provided to the right of this webpage and access to the full version of the Code of Conduct can be accessed here.
All Members are required by law (as set out in the Localism Act 2011) to complete a Register of Members’ Interests within 28 days of being elected or appointed to office. Members must register any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests of their own and their spouse/partner in a public register of interests. These include details of their employment or business, contracts between them/their company and the Council, any interests in land in the Holme Valley area, and details of any specific shareholdings in companies with a place of business or land in the Valley. Members must not participate or vote in matters considered at Council/Committee meetings which affect their Disclosable Pecuniary Interests. Individual Members’ DPIs are provided on the Contacts page.
What are the Committees?
Alongside the main Council meetings, there are a series of Standing Committees covering Community Assets, Finance & Management, Planning, Publications & Communications, Service Provision and Staffing. Separate working groups are set up when required to explore specific topics such as the Holmfirth Public Toilets, Neighbourhood Planning and the Civic Hall community asset transfer. The Council has the power to delegate authority to the Standing Committees (and to the Clerk) but a working group has no delegated authority and, therefore, must report back to the full Council or the Committee which appointed it, with recommendations which are then endorsed by the Council or that Committee. Further details of the Standing Committees are provided on the Committees page.
What information is available from the Council?
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations. Anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live. The FOIA operates alongside the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). The DPA allows people to access information about themselves (for example personnel records, or information held by credit reference agencies). The EIR give people access to information about the environment.
If you want to ask for information, you must contact the Council direct, in writing (e.g. by letter or an email) and your request will then be dealt with according to the FOIA. A verbal or written request can be made for environmental information. You must give your real name and an address to which the Council can reply. This can be a postal or email address.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent body that enforces the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act and the Environmental Information Regulations, and has produced some guidance, the ‘FOI charter’, on what to consider before making your request.
You can ask to have any type of information, but it must be recorded information and it will only be provided if it is held by the Council (or a third party/other organisation on its behalf) at the time of the request. The recorded information could be in the form of emails, letters or other documents.
Your request must be dealt with within 20 working days of receipt and the Council will provide you with the information unless there is a good reason for not doing so (e.g. if your request relates to the personal details of another person). If the Council cannot provide the information requested we will explain why we made this decision. If you don’t agree, you can then ask us to reconsider our decision. If the request is still declined you can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office to review the decision.
You must state how you want the information to be provided, i.e. by email or hard copy (to collect or posted to you), although there may be a charge for providing anything other than information in electronic format. As most of the Council’s information is available electronically, it may be supplied free of charge. However, a fee may be payable for photocopying or postage costs, or to cover administration and the expenses involved in finding and supplying the information (if it is likely to take up a large proportion of the Clerk’s time and resources). Details of the Council’s fees can be found in the documents available from the links below: