Anstey is a large village in the north of Leicestershire, with an electorate of 5,247 and a population of over 6,000. It has 14 councillors and eight members of staff to manage the day to day operations of the council. A precept of £217,272 is raised with a total budgeted income of £255,967 for 2015/16.
Within the local plan for Charnwood borough, the village is classified as a ‘Service Centre’ in recognising that Anstey Parish Council supports smaller surrounding villages and plays a role in the wider local area.
National Association of Local Councils (NALC) is pleased to honour Anstey, as the first Council of the Week for 2016, in recognition of the strategic steps the council has taken to help it deliver good services for the community.
One of the first of these strategic steps has been the professional development of the council’s clerk, who has successfully completed her studies at the University of Gloucestershire for an Honours Degree in Community Engagement and Governance. The knowledge and confidence of the council’s staff as a whole has also grown following some recent successes, which means it is in a stronger position to drive projects forward.
With this development of the team comes the creation of a corporate plan which provides the council with a structured approach to follow.
The council has also gained more power by obtaining the ‘general power of competence’ and increased its status by becoming the eighth council in the country to gain Quality Gold status on our Local Council Award Scheme.
NALC is particularly impressed by the council’s community engagement, partnerships and collaborative working, which have all brought about positive outcomes for the community of Anstey.
In recent times these have included providing new football pitches for its thriving youth teams, building a community footpath with a neighbouring parish council and funding a feasibility study on a late night bus service for Anstey for the benefit of residents. For the past two years, the addition of a participatory budgeting event at the parish meeting has led to an increase in attendance, with approximately 70 people attending the meetings.
As well as a proactive approach to planning and delivery of its work and activities, Anstey has also had a number of challenges to respond to. Notably, the late adoption of the local plan has led to an unprecedented number of residential planning applications being granted for the village and the council has risen to this challenge well, finding solutions and ways to best support its growing community and longer term needs.
Anstey is a growing, thriving community and it has a council to match. Anstey Parish is a council that is conscientious and strategically driven, whilst also remaining determined to ensure that the character and community spirit of the village are retained and enhanced. Congratulations Anstey!