Council of the Week: Westfield Parish Council
This week’s council of the week is Westfield Parish Council in Avon, the first council in the county to be awarded the Local Council Award Scheme Quality Award.
Westfield Parish Council was established in 2011. Over the past four years it has worked to build up a solid financial and ethical framework and the Quality Award recognises that it has achieved that. The council’s clerk has also explained how the process of working towards the award has been beneficial, she said:
“Not only does it demonstrate that we work to nationally agreed standards, but it gives the reassurance to local people that its Parish Council is indeed working efficiently for their benefit.”
One of the Westfield’s priorities is to improve facilities in the village for the community, so the council was delighted to recently be awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Awards for All scheme to spend on new play equipment. Initial consultation with local residents highlighted the need for more interesting play equipment and a re-surface of the bmx track. Young people were consulted on exactly what they would like and as a result the installation will take place shortly.
Anticipating the spring, the parish council is part funding the cost of 4,000 daffodil bulbs and is arranging community planting events this month to get them all planted. These events see people working together both as individuals and from a variety of local groups including the allotment group and local school. In February next year the centre of Westfield will be awash with colour.
Next week the council’s Christmas Lights Switch On event takes place which is combined with the award of grants to local groups. The event includes free refreshments, Father Christmas with free gifts for the children, carols and the switch on of the lights of the council’s living Christmas Tree, which was planted in the first year of the Parish Council. As ever, it requires the whole parish council to work together as a team, one of the enduring strengths of this council.
When assessing Westfield Parish Council, the Local Council Award Scheme accreditation panel noted that it is an incredibly well organised and professionally run council, with effective communication with its community.
NALC is pleased to see Westfield setting a fantastic example for other councils, and particularly recently formed councils, to follow and we hope they will keep up the good work.