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The 3 Big Questions

For all Council issues, the first 3 questions that always need answering are:

1.Ownership? -

Who owns or has responsibility for the Road, Highway, land or property?  This is usually the landowner but may be a tenant or other key stakeholder.  For example, Suffolk County Council own mosts Highways in Suffolk.  However, roads which are part of the National Strategic network such as the A47 Lowestoft area, are the responsibility of Highways England. Also, some roads and footpaths may be District Council responsibility (eg paths at rear of properties in Bonsey Gardens), and some may be private (such as The Lane in Wrentham).

2.Powers? -

Who has powers in relation to the property or issue?  Sometimes "power" means power to enforce (eg a District Council using compulsory purchase powers). But most often, especially for a Parish Council, a power means a legal permission for the council to do something.  A better analogy tor a parish council would be to think of it like the power to a drill to make it work.  So for example, a parish council could use it's power under Local Government Misc. Provisions Act 1953 section 4). to place a bus shelter in the parish.

3.Funding? -

With all issues, it is good to know who is paying , or where the funding is coming from. Councils set a tax on residents in their area  (Council tax), and also receive grants from central Government. East Suffolk District Council actually collects the Council Tax and then distributes it amongst the other councils as follows:

For 2020/21 the total Council Tax Collected by East Suffolk is £159 Million of which 

Suffolk County Council gets £118 MILLION pounds 

Police & Crime Commissioner gets £19.5 MILLION pounds

East Suffolk District Council gets £15 MILLION pounds

The 177 parish areas in East Suffolk together get 6.4 MILLION out of which

Wrentham Parish Council gets £15 THOUSAND pounds.