Horsington Parish Council exists to care for local amenities within the parish and to represent our community’s interests to South Somerset District Council and beyond. In common with other town and parish councils across the country, councillors are elected on a four-yearly basis if sufficient candidates stand. Horsington Parish Council comprises seven councillors. For the upcoming election in May 2019, only seven candidates are standing and so all will automatically be elected unopposed. Parish councillors are unpaid and work entirely on a voluntary basis.
Each councillor must, by law,
register personal interests which may influence their decision making. A register of councillor’s interests can be
found on the South Somerset District Council website. Additionally, councillors are required to
declare any interests related to any agenda item at the start of each meeting;
where a conflict of interests could exist, councillors are required to leave
the room whilst that agenda item is discussed.
The Parish Council meets on
the second Thursday of each month at 7.30pm at Horsington Village Hall. An agenda is posted to the noticeboards in
Horsington and South Cheriton, and to the Parish Council website, in advance of
each meeting. Each meeting commences
with a Public Forum – an opportunity for anyone to formally communicate views
or raise issues to the council. There is
no need to provide advance notice that you are coming however, if you do let
the Clerk know, he will normally notify the Chair and/or other councillors to
ensure the council is prepared. Please
note that, in most circumstances, views or issues raised in the Public Forum will
be noted but won’t be debated there and then – if there is a need for debate
this will be added to a future agenda to advise other parishioners and allow
them to register their views.
The Parish Council’s work
includes looking after our community amenities including the play area, the
wildlife pond, the churchyard and cemetery.
The Parish Council works hard to ensure that these are safe and well
maintained – this involves working with contractors for things like grass
cutting and tree surgery, ensuring all the appropriate insurances and
permissions are in place, arranging safety inspections and liaising with
multiple parties when administering the cemetery. The Parish Council also undertakes a number
of other activities including working with other organisations to ensure that
footpaths are clear and well maintained, helping ensure that problems with the
highways are reported and ensuring that grit bins are topped up for the winter
The Parish Council also has a
role in the planning process. The
council objectively reviews all applications made within the parish and, taking
views received from parishioners into account, makes comments to South Somerset
District Council. The Parish Council has
no decision-making authority and can only make comments based on valid planning
considerations – there are a surprising number of aspects which do not form
legally admissible considerations! South
Somerset District Council may or may not choose to incorporate the Parish
Council comments into their planning decision.
The Parish Council is funded
largely through the precept – the part of your council tax that comes to the
parish. The precept funds the grass
cutting & tree surgery, pays the Clerk’s wages and covers insurances,
memberships, inspections, accountancy etc. as required by law. The Parish Council does not aim to build a
surplus and, with the exception of a small fund that is used to clear the silt
from the pond on a two to three yearly basis, the precept is generally spent
within the financial year. A small
amount of funding is also obtained from the sale of cemetery plots – this represents
a very small part of the budget. Larger
projects, such as the rejuvenation of the wildlife pond or the replacement play
equipment, are funded through grants.
The Parish Council applies to South Somerset District Council, local
business or other community groups for any such grants.
Financial accounts, meeting
agendas, meeting minutes and other documents as required by law can be found on
our website (kindly provided by the Horsington Village Hall Committee): http://horsingtonvillagehall.co.uk/?page_id=99. This site is linked from the South Somerset
District Council website or can also be found by Googling ‘Horsington Parish
The Parish Council is keen to
ensure that our community is represented effectively, so if you have views or
issues that you feel have been overlooked please let us know or come along to a
Public Forum – you’ll be very welcome!