There are three tiers of local government with areas of responsibility in Kirkland:
'Parish and town councils are the foundation of local government. They are the level of government closest to the people and have a vital role to play in improving local quality of life. They can influence decisions that affect local people, help bring life to local communities and offer a way of making sure services meet the needs of residents'.
Parish and Town Council Charter in November 2008
Parish councils were formed in 1894 and are the smallest area of civil administration in England. They are the level of local government closest to the people. Councillors serve for a maximum period of four years.
Parish councils have a wide range of duties and powers. A council may resolve to call itself a town council if it so wishes. Councils must be given the power by law before they can act. They are led by the chairman and advised by the clerk. Meetings are open to the public. Time is allowed for residents to give their views and ask questions. Meetings are held mostly in the evening. A good council listens to its electors and represents their views. It also works in partnership with other authorities and various organisations to bring benefit to the parish/town. Councillors must sign a declaration of acceptance of office upon election and must agree to the Code of Conduct before they may act as a councillor. Money for projects is raised from local taxation (precept) and from grants. That money is spent wholly within the parish/town and will add value to the services provided by the principal authorities.
Five local people serve as Councillors on the Parish Council. They are all volunteers and receive no pay for the work they do on behalf of the Parish. Elections to serve as a Parish Councillor are held every four years, unless there is a resignation when the casual vacancy is advertised on the notice boards and the Parish Newsletter.
There are full meetings of the Parish Council by-monthly throughout the year, which take place in Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall, The Avenue, Churchtown. These meetings are held on the second Tuesday commencing at 7.30pm. All meetings of the Council are open to the public and there is a short period just after the start of each meeting put aside for questions from the public.
An important part of the role of the Parish Council is to represent the views of the Parish in response to various public consultations.
During the Parish Council meeting the Councillors look at planning applications received by the Planning Authority, Wyre Borough Council and pass their comments. The Parish Council always tries to represent the views put forward by local people in this regard, although sometimes this can prove difficult when an application is controversial and has both vocal support and opposition amongst local residents. Nevertheless, members of the Council take a vigilant approach in representing the local viewpoint, and encourage objectors/supporters of planning applications to attend meetings and put forward their views.
Current planning applications and previous ones for the last three years can be viewed at the Parish Office in Catterall Village Hall during the Residents Surgeries held on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.To find the latest planning applications or to search older applications look at: https://www.wyre.gov.uk/planningsearch
The Parish Council Christmas Tree is situated at the front of The Horn's Inn and can be seen by those using the A586 from the A6 or entering the Village. The switch-on celebrations take place on Advent Sunday when Churchtown Festival Queen presses the red button to illuminate the seasonal decorations.
St. Helen's Church also displays a Christmas Tree and the crib in Church Square, which are illuminated following the tree at the Horn's Inn and refreshments are available. Both the trees are donated to the parish from a local resident and decorated with festive lights provided by Kirkland Parish Council.