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Hartford Parish Council

Serving the people of Hartford

Marshalls Arm

Clerk: Jo O'Donoghue
231 Hartford Road, Davenham
Northwich, Cheshire CW9 8JT

Tel: 01606 41862

Who we are & what we do

Hartford Parish Council is a civil local authority, being the first tier of local government. We are an elected corporate body whose Councillors are elected to serve for four years.

Parish Councils are non-political and not linked to any other organisation.

Hartford Parish Council has ten Councillors, all of whom are volunteers and do not receive any payment for their services.

The activities of Hartford Parish Council fall into three main categories:

  • Representing the local community;
  • Delivering services to meet local needs;
  • Improving quality of life and community well-being.

The Parish Council's responsibilities include parks and open spaces, sports facilities, public halls, and allotments.

Meetings of the Parish Council are held on the second Monday of every month (with the exception of August when there is no scheduled meeting) at Hartford Village Hall. The Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council are held at Hartford Village Hall in May.



The Clerk to the Council is the Proper Officer of the Council and as such is under a statutory duty to carry out all the functions and to serve or issue all the notifications required by law of a local authority's Proper Officer.

Proper Officer is a title used in statute. It refers to the appropriate officer for the relevant function. In parish councils the Proper Officer is usually the Clerk. In financial matters, the Proper Officer is known as the Responsible Financial Officer.

The Clerk is responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a local authority are carried out.

The Clerk is the Responsible Financial Officer and responsible for all financial records of the Council and the careful administration of its finances.

The Clerk is expected to advise the Council and assist in the formation of overall policies to be followed in respect of the authority's activities, produce all the information required for making effective decisions and implement constructively all decisions.

The Council is responsible for all decisions and instructions are taken from the Council as a body. The Clerk is not answerable to any individual Councillor – not even the Chairman.

The Council must be confident that the Clerk is, at all times, independent, objective and professional.

Clerk's Overall Responsibilities

  • ensure that the Council conducts its business lawfully
  • administers all the Council's paperwork
  • ensures that meeting papers are properly prepared and the public is aware of meeting times
  • implements the Council's decisions
  • oversees the implementation of projects
  • supervises staff & contractors as required
  • keeps property registers and other legal documents
  • keeps up to date by training /qualification

Specific Responsibilities

  • To ensure that statutory and other provisions governing or affecting the running of the Council are observed.
  • To monitor and balance the Council's accounts and prepare records for audit purposes and VAT.
  • To ensure that the Council's obligations for risk assessment are properly met.
  • To prepare, in consultation with appropriate members, agendas for meetings of the Council and Committees. To attend such meetings and prepare minutes for approval. Other than where such duties have been delegated to another Officer.
  • To attend all meetings of the Council and all meetings of its committees and sub-committees. Other than where such duties have been delegated to another Officer.
  • To receive correspondence and documents on behalf of the Council and to deal with the correspondence or documents or bring such items to the attention of the Council. To issue correspondence as a result of instructions of, or the known policy of the Council.
  • To receive and report on invoices for goods and services to be paid for by the Council and to ensure such accounts are met. To issue invoices on behalf of the Council for goods and services and to ensure payment is received.
  • To supervise any other members of staff as their line manager in keeping with the policies of the Council and to undertake all necessary activities in connection with the management of salaries, conditions of employment and work of other staff.
  • To act as the representative of the Council as required.
  • To issue notices and prepare agendas and minutes for the Parish Meeting: to attend the assemblies of the Parish Meeting and to implement the decisions made at the assemblies that are agreed by the Council.
  • To prepare, in consultation with the Chairman, press releases about the activities of, or decisions of, the Council.
  • To liaise with the Editor of Hartford News in the preparation, delivery and distribution of Hartford News
  • To monitor and process all planning applications received from Cheshire West and Chester Council and prepare documents for presentation to Planning Working Group
  • To liaise with external funding bodies and prepare grant applications as agreed by Council
  • To liaise with, monitor and advise employees and contractors of the Council
  • To work with Council to expand the social media profile of the Council and ensure that the information provided is compliant with current legislation
  • To attend training courses or seminars on the work and role of the Clerk as required by the Council.
  • To continue to acquire the necessary professional knowledge required for the efficient management of the affairs of the Council including membership of the professional body The Society of Local Council Clerks.

Committees and meetings

Standing orders are the written rules of a local council. They are used to confirm a council's internal organisational, administrative and procurement procedures and procedural matters for meetings. They are not the same as the policies of a council but they may refer to them. A local council must have standing orders for the procurement of contracts.

Our committees have specific tasks and can have delegated powers.

Parish Clerk - Jo O'Donoghue

Parish Clerk - Jo O'Donoghue

01606 41862