The Parish Council has nine councillors, who are elected for a four year period. If a vacancy occurs during the four years it can be filled either by a by-election, if there is more than one candidate and ten electors demand a poll, or by co-option. Co-option is where one or more candidates put their name forward to the Council. If there is more than one person standing for co-option then a secret ballot is held by existing councillors.
The Parish Council is supported by the Clerk to the Council who services Council meetings and carries out instructions of the Council made at each meeting. The Clerk also has responsibility for maintaining the Council’s finances. The Clerk is assisted in this role by an administration assistant. The Parish Council also employs a handyman who helps maintain the Village Hall and surrounding area.
Parish Council Standing Orders
Parish Council Financial Regulations
Members Code of Conduct
Responsibilities of the Parish Council
The Parish Council has a number of responsibilities, some of them advisory within the local government structure and some direct.
All planning applications are assessed by the Parish Council and their views are taken into account when Tewkesbury Borough Council, as the responsible planning authority, makes its decision. The Coopers Edge development together with that of the Whittle Centre has created many large and complex applications which have to be considered by councillors and an agreed response formulated.
The Parish owns the play area and is responsible for the play equipment. The Council must ensure that the equipment is regularly inspected, including a professional annual inspection. Council members undertake monthly and quarterly inspections which are documented and brought to the attention of the full Council at their monthly meeting. The cost of any repairs and maintenance comes from the Council’s budget.
Footpaths and Footways
The Council makes regular inspections of the footpaths and footways in the parish any problems are reported to County Council Highways Department or Tewkesbury Borough Council for further action
Gloucestershire County Council is the highways authority and any problems are notified to them.
Grants and Donations
The Council has powers to give grants and donations to such bodies as Citizens Advice, the annual Poppy Appeal or community groups. There are strict rules limiting the total amount of donations made in each financial year.
The Council has to fund public litter bins within the parish, although the cost of emptying these is met by the borough council. There are currently 9 litter bins within the parish.
There are 11 dog litter bins in the parish. Each has been purchased out of parish funds and the cost of emptying these is met by the borough council.
Bus Shelters and benches
The Council as the local representative body is also asked for their views on a wide range of issues that are decided by other bodies. This could include, for example, public transport, regional planning or community safety. At the start of every Council meeting there is an Open Forum section where residents can come along and raise any parish matter. During the rest of the meeting only councillors may speak.
The Village Hall is owned and run by the Council. The Parish Council office is in this building together with a hall, kitchen, small meeting room, storeroom, toilets and upstairs meeting room where Parish Council meetings are held. The hall and meeting rooms are available to hire. There is a car park for approximately 60 cars and a recent project was undertaken to install car park lighting.