What the Parish Council Does
The Parish owns the Shawford Parish Hall, the Memorial Playing Fields in Shepherds Lane, and the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field in Compton Street.
The Parish Council is responsible for the upkeep of these facilities. A small portion of your Council Tax (about tuppence halfpenny in the pound) comes to the Parish Council for this purpose.
The Council has the right of representation on planning matters, which includes all planning applications and structure plan proposals.
The Council also watches over footpaths, bridleways and rights of way.
We are responsible for the provision and upkeep of bus shelters and street lighting, and other activities such as monitoring the provision of rail and bus services through the Public Transport Officer.
What can Parish Councils do?
Parish Councils have a range of powers (things they can do), which is laid down in law.
There is a much shorter list of duties (things they must do).
Some of the powers are historic, such as the power to provide public bath houses.
For a complete list, see Parish Council Powers.
You can read more about this in the Good Councillor’s Guide available from the National Association of Local Councils website.
In the days before email, our Parish Council used to meet every month, except August, on the first Tuesday of the month.
Now that we can and routinely do use email to progress actions and respond to enquiries from parishioners between meetings, in September 2013 the Parish Council decided to meet every other month. This followed a two year trial period of running eight meetings a year.
The first Tuesdays of months between meetings would be reserved in case needed for special meetings on urgent matters that might arise.
The Parish Council is required by law to meet at least four times a year.
Meetings are held every other month, on the first Tuesdays of January, March, May, July, September and November.
Very rarely, we change the date to avoid clashes with bank holidays or, in election years such as 2016, to allow the Parish Council meeting to come after election day. Any change will be advertised well in advance.
The May meeting is the Annual Parish Council Meeting when, every year, the Council is required to elect a chair, vice chair and decide membership of its committees for the coming 12 months.
Meetings begin at 7:30pm and should not last longer than two hours.
The agenda and meeting notices are posted on the noticeboards around the village.
There must also be an Annual Parish Meeting, open to all electors, held in April or early May. Notices of the meeting are delivered to all households in the village.
Meetings are held in the Shawford Parish Hall, unless announced otherwise.
At the Parish Council meeting on 7 April 2009 the Parish Council agreed that two meetings each year (initially April and October) would be held in the Scout Hall in Martins Fields, to make it easier for residents in that part of the parish to attend. This pattern had to change because, from late 2011, the Scouts themselves use the Scout Hall on most Tuesday evenings. Check the notice boards or the Parish Magazine or the online diary for confirmation of meeting locations.
Who can come
Meetings are open to the public. Anyone is welcome to attend, raise questions during question time at the beginning of the meeting and share in our tea and biscuits.
But if you have any problems which you think the Parish Council can help with, don’t wait for a meeting – talk to one of the councillors, drop a note to the clerk or get in touch using the Contact Form.