What part does the Parish Council play in Local Government?
The Parish Council is the second tier of local government, after the District Council. It is at the “grass roots” and is in the best position to represent the views of the local community.
All meetings of the Council are open to the public and the Council would like to encourage residents to come along – the elected Members are your representatives and your views are important to them.
What does the Parish Council do?
The Parish Council has a surprising number of powers which it can exercise if it so wishes. Below are some of the activities Crofton Parish Council currently carries out for the benefit of the village:
- Provides many parish organisations with financial assistance.
- Owns the allotment sites in Oak Street and Hare Park Lane.
- Considers all planning applications relating to Crofton, and makes comments as appropriate, to the District Council
- Provides litter bins and some seats and benches in the village
- Provides and maintains the Parish Cemetery
- Provides and maintains the Parish Centre on the High Street.
- Acts as trustees to Crofton Village Association, funding the ongoing commitment of the Pavilion at Hare Park Sidings.
- Acts as trustees to the Constable & Pinder charity, for the benefit of the community
- Undertakes special projects such as the Village Appraisal
- As a mediator between parishioners and the higher levels of local and central government
- Helps organise community events such as the Fun Day and Switching on the Christmas lights
- Provides allotment amenities to village residents
How are Parish Councillors elected?
Parish elections take place every four years if all the seats on the Parish Council are filled. If there are vacant seats the Council makes a unilateral decision through the process of ‘co-opting’. The Parish Council currently has 12 members and one vacant seat.
In July 2005 the community was saddened to learn of the death of the parish clerk, for the past 15 years, John Shillitoe. That September the council appointed Barry Riley as the new parish clerk, who holds the position to the current day.
In 2005 Councillor Graham Jackson was presented with a rose bowl to commemorate 50 years as a parish councillor. At the September meeting Councillor Jackson announced his retirement from the council. Trevor Chalkley was appointed chairman of the council in May 2006, which he vacated in May 2019. The current chairman is Arthur Ripley, and vice-chairman position is currently vacant following the November 2019 resignation of Martyn Hampshire. The chairman and vice-chairman roles are re-appointed annually at the annual parish council meeting.
Who pays for the Parish Council?
The Parish Council raises the funds to undertake these services and facilities through what is known as the precept.
As part of the council’s operations we have now received monies from WMDC to be spent on ‘green spaces’ around the village. This funding can be difficult to obtain, and therefore, as we make decisions on how to allocate it, we want to offer residents of Crofton the...