The Parish Council is the first tier of Local Government and is here to help the villages within the Parish.
The members of the Parish Council are elected every four years and where vacancies arise in the interim, the Parish Council can co-opt un-elected members. Parish Councillors are not paid and give up their time freely.
The Parish Council liaises with other statutory bodies, such as Highways and the Vale of White Horse District Council, to ensure that the needs of the Parish are considered and met wherever possible.
The Parish Council has responsibility for looking after the parish-owned land (the Village Green, the Cricket Field, the Playground and the ditch opposite the Church).
The Parish Council normally meets on the first Tuesday of each month in F1 of the Wootton Community Centre and the agenda can be found here and also on the noticeboards around the Parish. Meeting are open to the Public who are offered the chance to raise matters near the start of the meeting.
What can Parish Council’s Do?
- Provide allotments.
- Buildings for community use, such as Community Centres
- Recreational facilities such as parks, playgrounds and playing fields.
- Litter bins
- Public seats
- Cycle and motorcycle parking
- Maintenance of rights of way
- Guardianship of common land (such as village greens)
- Maintenance of war memorials
They may also provide the following, subject to the consent of the County Council:
- Bus shelters
- Lighting of roads and public places
- Certain traffic signs and other public notices
- Provision, maintenance and protection of roadside verges
- Establishment or acquisition of markets, and provision of market places and market buildings
Parish councils have the right to be consulted by the District Council:
- All planning applications in their areas
- Intention to provide a burial ground in the parish
- Proposals to carry out sewerage works
- Footpath and bridleway (more generally, ‘rights of way’) surveys
- Intention to make byelaws in relation to hackney carriages, music and dancing and street naming
- The appointment of governors of primary schools
Parish councils may also exercise the following powers:
- Sponsoring public events
- Support of the arts and provision of entertainment
- Encouragement of tourism
- Providing grants to local voluntary organisations
- Funding crime prevention measures
- Funding community transport schemes
- Contribution of money towards traffic calming schemes
- Cleaning and drainage of ponds, watercourses and ditches
- Power to obtain water from any well, spring or stream
- Creation of a neighbourhood plan
- Power to acquire or dispose of land
- Withholding of consent to stop up unclassified highways and footpaths
- Appointing trustees of local charities
- Power to make byelaws in regard to pleasure grounds, cycle parks, baths and washhouses, open spaces and burial grounds, and mortuaries and post-mortem rooms.