The Parish Council represents electors at local level and has powers and duties set by law. It has a small proportion of everybody's Council Tax to spend. District services such as refuse collection, housing, and planning are the responsibility of Wealden District Council. East Sussex County Council provides transport, highways, education and other major services. However, the Parish Council is consulted on most of these issues and can lobby for action where it does not have its own powers.
The Parish Council has 13 councillors (10 in Rotherfield Ward and 3 in Eridge & Mark Cross Ward) plus one employee - the Clerk. The full Parish Council meets monthly on the last Thursday of every month - usually in Rotherfield Village Hall. This meeting receives reports of meetings by committees, approves expenditure and discusses major items that require attention. Usually the District and County Councillors who serve the Parish are present to give a monthly report to the meeting.
There is a committee structure in place and currently committees work on items connected with Planning & Building, Recreation & Burial Grounds, Highways & Lighting & Transportation, Communication and Media and Finance & General Purposes. Sub-committees and working parties are formed as needed.
Once councillors are elected or co-opted, they are required to agree to a Code of Conduct and register their financial and personal interests. Meetings are run according to a set of Standing Orders and the Council's financial dealings are governed by a set of Financial Regulations. Party politics have no place in the running of the Parish Council.
Councillors are usually a members of two committees or sub-committees (or more if they wish to) and attend all meetings of the full council and their chosen committees. Committee meetings are usually every other month. All meetings are in the evenings, most start at 19:30 and all are open to members of the public.
The primary role of a councillor is to represent the views and special interests of people who live in the Parish. At meetings, councillors are able to participate in decision making, contribute to policy and strategy review, and formulate initiatives that will help the community. There is also the chance to be a Parish Council representative on other statutory bodies and voluntary organisations. The Council encourages councillors to take advantage of the training and learning opportunities that are provided by the District Council and other local bodies.