What is a Parish Council?

Abbots Langley Parish Council is a statutory body, set up to serve the residents of the Parish. Like other Parish Councils (or Town Councils if they serve an urban area) it is the lowest tier of Local Government, sitting below, but independent of, District and County Councils. The “Parish” in the title refers to the civil parish; we have no formal links to the Church.

Abbots Langley is one of the larger Parish Councils serving around 23,000 residents in the wards of Primrose Hill, Tanners Wood, Leavesden, Langleybury and Abbots Langley.

What do we do?

We provide:

  • Venues for hire to residents, organisation and companies.
  • Sport facilities such as playing fields, bowling greens and multi games areas.
  • Open spaces, including children’s play areas.
  • Allotments.
  • Grounds maintenance and upkeep for the Parish area, including trees, grassed areas and other open spaces.

We support local organisation through grant assistance and contribute to the running and organisation of events such as the annual Fireworks Display, Carnival or Carol Concert. Our assistance is given sometime as a financial contribution, other times our staff assists in the planning and staging of these events.
We comment on all planning applications in the Parish area.

Who are our Councillors?

All of our fifteen Parish Councillors have been elected to serve on the Parish Council for four years. Unlike other tiers of Local Government Parish Councillors, do not get paid for the time they spend fulfilling their duties. The role is entirely voluntary and can take up many hours in working with their communities and attending meetings. Councillors have to abide by a Code of Conduct and declare any financial interests they may have in the Parish, such as their homes, businesses and the organisations to which they may belong. Councillors must also declare a personal or prejudicial interest in any matter under discussion at a Parish Council meeting.

Our Councillors often serve in other roles such as school governors and on the management and advisory boards of local organisations and charities. They are actively involved in the running or local clubs and societies; they live and often work in the local community, so are in touch with many residents and understand the needs of our vibrant community.

How are we funded?

Through your Council Tax. The Parish Council raises funds though its precept, which the District Council collects on our behalf through the Council Tax billing. We also offset our costs through the revenue we earn from our venues, sports facilities and allotments and by applying for public sector grants to support some of our larger projects.

The cost though of the Parish Council should not be viewed as an “extra”, if the Parish Council did not exist then the services we provide would have to be provided by the District Council. Parish Councils are usually looked on as good value for the tax payer’s money, they run with low staff levels and overheads and are generally efficient at providing services.

Parish Council Reference Documents

The Parish Council’s Standing Orders provide details of how the the Council conducts it business and make decisions, a copy of which can be downloaded below.

The Parish Council’s Financial Regulations provide details of how the the Council conducts it financial business, a copy of which can be downloaded below.

Parish Councillors have to adhere to a Code of Conduct. The latest version was approved by the Parish Council in July 2021, a copy of which can be downloaded below.

The Parish Council has a statutory obligation to publish a Statement of Community Engagement. A copy of this can be downloaded below.

Committees & Terms of Reference

The Parish Council has a number of standing committees such as the Leisure Committee, Planning & Highways Committee, Finance & Administration Committee, and Staffing Committee. The full list of the Parish Council’s Committees and their current members can be found on our Councillors by Committee page. The terms of reference, powers and duties of each of the Council’s Standing Committees can be downloaded from below.

More information about the Planning & Highways Committee and the role it plays in reviewing of planning applications can be found below.

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Planning & Highways Committee

Responding to Planning Applications

Abbots Langley Parish Council is consulted by Three Rivers District Council on all planning applications in the Parish Council area.

The Parish Council has a Planning and Highways Committee which meets at least every 4 weeks to consider and comment on planning applications. As with all Parish Council meetings, members of the press and public are welcome to attend.

In the majority of cases there is no objection to applications. Any concerns or objections are passed back to Three Rivers District Council and these will be taken into consideration by their Planning Officers and Planning Committee when decisions are taken.

If you are interested in a specific planning application and attending the meeting where that is going to be considered, then please contact the Parish Council offices and we will be able to advise if the application has been received and when it will be considered by the Planning Committee.

The Planning Authority, Three Rivers District Council, publish information on all planning applications in the district on their Three Rivers – Planning On-Line website. This includes details of applications, plans, supporting documents, etc, which can be searched by application number or address. There are also links to information on obtaining planning permission and the planning process.

The Planning and Highways Committee are informed of and may also express a view on wider planning matters, such as consultations by Government or other organisations, Hertfordshire County Council Mineral and Waste Development Frameworks and relevant planning applications, proposed redevelopment of Watford Hospital site etc.

Other Committee Responsibilities

The Planning and Highways Committee also reviews the provision and maintenance of bus shelters, some of which are the responsibility of the Parish Council. The Committee also deals with the current programme to renew the Parish Council’s notice boards.

Whilst the Parish Council has no responsibility for highways, they are consulted or informed about transport matters, for example the widening of the M25, increasing bus passenger transport representation, notification about road works and road closures and similar matters as they arise.