Pangbourne Parish Council is one of 52 parish councils within the area administered by West Berkshire Council. It consists of eleven councillors, elected every four years, and meets on a regular basis to provide and manage services for the benefit of the community. The Council is a corporate body with a legal existence quite separate from that of its members and its decisions are the responsibility of the whole body.
Councils have been granted powers by Parliament to raise money through taxation (the precept) and are able to spend public money on a wide range of activities, such as community safety, street lighting, allotments, playing fields, cemeteries, litter, war memorials, seats and shelters, housing, traffic, highways, rights of way and more. However, it can only spend money on what the law says it can and then not on anything for which there is a separate budgeting authority.
Council activities are governed by Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, both of which are reviewed regularly. Day to day management is carried out by the Clerk, who is also responsible for keeping the accounts and advising on legal matters. Advice is obtained from the Berkshire Association of Local Councils (BALC) and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC), to both of which the Council subscribes. Accounts are audited every year and every member of the Parish is entitled to inspect them during a fifteen day period announced in notices.
Committees of councillors and other appointed members are set up to perform certain duties. A Village Hall Committee runs and services the hall. A Grounds Committee looks after recreation grounds behind Thames Avenue and at Chiltern Walk, meadows and National Trust land by the river, allotments at the end of Graham Avenue and the cemetery on Pangbourne Hill. A Finance Committee monitors expenditure and ensures compliance with all relevant regulations. Other committees, such as the Village Plan Committee, are set up from time to time to undertake specific tasks.
At every Council meeting, 15 minutes is allocated for parishioners to raise questions about community matters. A Parish Meeting is convened every year at which all parishioners can have their say about how the Council conducts its affairs.