In Warwickshire there are three tiers of local government, so Stretton residents have:
- Warwickshire County Council (WCC)
- Rugby Borough Council (RBC)
- Stretton-on-Dunsmore Parish Council
A parish is the smallest administrative unit within the hierarchy of local government i.e. counties, districts or boroughs and parishes. Stretton-on-Dunsmore is one of 41 parishes within the Rugby Borough, which in turn is one of 5 districts and boroughs within the County of Warwickshire. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with the parish church or its governing body, although the geographic area covered by the Parish of Stretton-on-Dunsmore roughly coincides with the parochial boundaries of All Saints, the local C of E church, as historically the old parish church boundaries were used as the basis for creating civil parish councils towards the end of the 19th century.
In all three Councils there are councillors who are elected by residents; usually for a four year term and they have responsibilities that differ dependent upon the tier of council.
Warwickshire County Council is based in Shire Hall in Warwick, with different administrative buildings spread throughout the county. It is largely responsible for the care and support for vulnerable people, whether the elderly or younger people and families who require some form of care and help. The County Council still has some key responsibilities in learning, education and culture and runs our libraries and museums as an example of this, keeping some of the very distinctive heritage facilities that distinguish our historic council. The County Council has an important role in maintaining a significant part of our local road network as well as certain lighting on main roads. All County Councillors are representatives of ‘divisions’ that is the geographical boundary of their electorate – our County Councillor, Howard Roberts, represents the Dunsmore & Leam Valley Division.
Rugby Borough Council ensures our household waste is collected and the County has responsibilities for disposal. One key function is that of Planning – if you wish to make extensions to your home or even build a new estate then it is Rugby Borough Council that is the key authority here. RBC also has important functions in housing, leisure and most notably in collecting council tax. It collects local taxes for the Borough, on behalf of the county and you will also see from your council tax bill it also collects local taxes towards policing and Fire and Rescue, although here in Warwickshire Fire and rescue is part of the County Council.
Stretton-on-Dunsmore Parish Council has responsibility for a number of different areas including allotments, bus shelters, footpaths, lighting of certain roads, litter bins, trees, public seating, pavilions, recreation grounds and other open spaces. The Parish Council is notified of any planning applications submitted to RBC for the area and is given the opportunity to comment.
In addition the Parish Council can spend a limited amount of money on anything it deems of benefit to the village. Stretton Parish Council has also introduced a Small Grants Policy, so it can contribute to groups and organisations within Stretton-on-Dunsmore that benefit the community.