The map shown below illustrates where we are located in relation to the rest of the area and outlines the administrative areas that are of local importance. The whole of the area shown plus the remainder of the county of Nottinghamshire (not shown) is administered by Nottinghamshire County Council which provides a variety of services including education, waste disposal, trading standards, libraries, police and so on. You can learn more about the role of this authority by visiting the local library or their website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk
A notable exception to this is Nottingham City Council which as the name suggests administers the city itself on a local level and provides a complete range of necessary services to the inhabitants. Being a so-called ‘unitary’ authority, it is autonomous and stands alone. This authority extends to some areas south of the trent, most notably Clifton which is effectively part of the city for administrative purposes. There is also a website where you can discover further details www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk
However, the county is further divided into smaller administrative areas, usually based around centres of population. In the case of East Leake and similar rural areas where there is no well-defined centre of population, the area in which we live is administered by Rushcliffe Borough Council based in West Bridgford. It provides services such as waste collection (as opposed to disposal which is the County Council’s responsibility), local planning, parking, open spaces and collection of Council Tax amongst others. To learn more about this body visit their website www.rushcliffe.gov.uk
The Borough is divided into ‘wards’ and each of which elects its own councilors to represent it on the Borough Council and the County Council. Within Rushcliffe you will see that there are many ‘wards’, each of which embraces one or more villages or other settlements. Our particular ‘ward’ is Leake which includes the villages of East Leake and West Leake plus the areas surrounding and between and we are represented by elected councilors who attend meetings and deal with any matters arising from the activities of the Borough Council and/or County Council.
Within these ‘wards’ and because of the particular local needs of rural communities, there are Parish Councils, each representing a village or group of villages and providing services in response to those needs. These services vary somewhat but may include recreation areas or playing fields,; public conveniences; street cleansing; public amenities such as the Village Hall and local burial ground. In fact there is little that is exempt from Parish Council business and some of their responsibilities are derived from historical legacy such as land or property donations or sometimes funds left in trust for the parish. They also provide funding for local community initiatives such as our own Community Care Association or the village website.
East Leake Parish Council falls within the area shown as Leake and serves the specific local needs of the community. Indeed even these areas are divided so that each parish councilor is associated with a locality such as Woodgate or Stonebridge etc. At regular intervals the councilors meet to discuss local matters (and sometimes not so local ones) then make recommendations or decisions based on local need or the feelings of the community. Members of the public are entitled and encourage to attend these meetings.
Sometimes there are overlaps in the services provided and there is necessarily a lot of interaction between the various administrative authorities. For example, it is the responsibility of the highways authority (County Council) to maintain the roads but it would be the responsibility of the Borough Council to install and maintain a pedestrian crossing or regulate parking in the village.
Since our local representatives live in the village, they are best placed to support or object to such measures, as they frequently do. However they can only to this effectively for all concerned if they are aware of local feeling so they need your contact and support. Their actual powers are limited, often to an advisory role. but they provide a necessary channel for our area that reaches into the larger authorities.
To learn who your local representatives are just choose the list of options on the left. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, send an email using the Contact option above or call into the Parish Office during opening hours. Our local councilors are always glad of feedback and because the service they provide is crucial to our local identity and community, we should at least acknowledge them, if not guard their function jealously.
For anyone who believes that politics is uninteresting or boring, consider exactly what our elected representative do for us. Since they are local and accessible you can influence how they perform their duties and make your views known so that they can make balanced judgments and represent our local interests effectively. Contrary to a popular notion that they are in it for the money, rest assured that they are not. they really are there to represent us and help to ensure that East Leake remains a great place to live!
Not least of all, the Borough has it’s own Member of Parliament to represent our interests at a national level. This completes the national administrative hierarchy and provides an organised structure that starts right here in our villages and extends, somewhat indirectly, all the way to Westminster. Beyond that we have elected members of the European Parliament in Brussels who represent our national interests.
So you see politics affects each and every one of us in almost every aspect of our lives which is a very good reason for taking an interest.