David P Adams,
Timothy P Fulwell,
Jennifer A Head,
Wouldham Parish Council has been in existence
for over a hundred years and meets on the first
Tuesday of every month except for August in the
village hall in the High Street and all members of
the public are welcome. It is currently chaired by
????????? with ??????? as Vice
Chairman, the only paid member of the council is
the Clerk ???????????, both he and the
Chairman may be contacted above if you have
any issues that you feel should be brought to the
attention of the council.
If you require any further information about the
parish, borough or county please click on any of
the links above. If you care to look at the latest
agenda, minutes of the last meeting, or for any
other parish news, please click on the village hall
which will take you to the next page
© Copyright 2009 WW Media
Mr Roger Dalton
13 Bell Crescent
Mr Dave Davis
132 Rochester Road
Mr Peter Homewood
33 Old Chatham Road
Blue Bell Hill
Local councils are the first tier of goverment and are the first point of contact for anyone concerned with a
community issue. They are democratically elected local authorities and exist in England, Wales and Scotland.
The term 'local council' is synonymous with 'Parish council', 'town council' and 'community council'.
In England Parish councils were formed as part of the feudal system in the 11th century to oversee the welfare
and civic duties of a town or village.
Many Parish councils are still in place today, particularly in rural communities.
Local councils are made up of locally elected councillors. They are legally obliged to hold at least one meeting
a year. Wouldham Parish council meets every four weeks to discuss council business. In addition to this, there
are committees or sub-committees made up of councillors, dealing with specific subjects. District councillors
regularly attend Parish meetings to report back to the district on developments at Parish level. County, unitary
and metropolitan councillors are also invited to attend Parish meetings when the Parish council feels it is
appropriate, and they have a standing invitation to attend and report at the annual assembly.
What responsibilities does the Parish council have?
Local councils currently have a limited number of duties but they all impact directly on the community. The
following are all under the remit of local councils:
* Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria
* Bus Shelters
* By-laws - the power to make bye-laws concerning: baths and washhouses (swimming pools), cycle parks,
mortuaries and pleasure grounds
* Clocks - public clocks can be provided and must be maintained
* Community Centres, Conference Centres, Halls, Public Buildings
* Drainage - of ditches and ponds
* Entertainment and the Arts
* General Spending - Parish councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to
the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list
* Gifts - Parish councils may accept gifts
* Highways - lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent
of Parish council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree
planting and verge maintenance
* Land - acquisition and sale of
* Legal proceedings - power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community,
power to take part in any public enquiry
* Litter - provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns
* Planning - Parish councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area.
Any comments submitted to the planning authority by the Parish council must be taken into account
* Postal and Telecommunication Facilities - power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss
sustained in providing services in that area
* Public conveniences - provision and maintenance of public toilets
* Recreation - provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens,
gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds
* Rights of Way - footpath and bridleway maintenance
* Seats (public)
* Signs - danger signs, place names and bus stops signs
* Tourism - financial contributions to any local tourist organisations allowed
* Traffic Calming
* War Memorials
* Water Supply - power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use
Becoming a Parish Councillor
To qualify to be a Parish councillor you must be:
1. A British citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic or a citizen of any member state of the European Union.
2. Over 21 on the day that he or she is nominated as a candidate
3. A registered local government elector
4. Resident in the Parish, or within 3 miles of the Parish, or working full time in the Parish for at least 12 months
prior to the nomination or election day.
A person is disqualified from holding office as a Parish or town councillor if:
1. They hold a paid office, or other place of profit in the Council
2. They have been declared bankrupt in the past five years and have not repaid their debts
3. They have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to more than 3 years imprisonment within the
last five years
4. They incur illegal expenditure (when acting as a councillor) of over £2,000, or are found guilty of using corrupt
or illegal practices
The Role of the Parish Councillor
Members of the Parish Council are all either elected for a term of four years or if there are not enough people
standing at election time, co-opted to serve the community in a voluntary capacity. No councillor is able to
receive any payment other than out of pocket expenses and they are served by a clerk who is responsible for the
day to day management of the parish council, the servicing of its meetings and the preparation of accounts to be
submitted to the district auditor.
People of any political or religious persuasion are eligible to become a councillor, although their personal views
should not extend into their Parish council work. They are elected to represent the interests of the local
community as a whole and promote a harmonious local environment. The number of elected councillors
depends on the size of the area. Councillors attend meetings of the full council and often participate in
committees that deal with specific areas of council business. Councillors take collective decisions that form the
policy of the council.
The affairs of the Parish Council are held in public - you have a right to receive information on and attend
meetings of the Parish Council and to this end the Parish Council produces a Newsletter and maintains this
website. You can contact the clerk or any of the Councilís current members, with any concerns or ideas that will
benefit the Village and its residence.
Some training is available for new councillors, training courses and seminars on topical issues such as Quality
Status, Parish Plans, Parish Transport Plans and Planning.
How is the Parish council funded?
The funding for Parish councils is allocated by the district council and is taken from the area's council tax; this is
called an annual precept. The income and expenditure for the next financial year are calculated in the form of
estimates and this amount is added to the local council tax and then returned to the Parishes in two yearly
instalments. Darrington Parish Council has not asked for an increase in the precept for over five years.
The Future of Local Councils
The Rural White Paper 'Our Countryside: The Future, a Fair Deal for Rural England, published in November 2000,
recognised the important role of the first tier of local government and proposed a number of initiatives designed
to enhance the role of Parish and Town councils.
Subsequently, in June 2003 the Quality Town and Parish Council Scheme was launched.
The three main aims are;
1.To provide a benchmark of standards for Parish and town councils
2. Enable them to work more closely with partners in the delivery of services and
3. Enable them to more effectively represent their communities.
Quality councils will bring considerable benefits to the Parish or town, principal authority and the community it
represents. Quality councils will be in a better position to take on additional services and areas of responsibility
from their principal authorities and can demonstrate to local communities that minimum standards have been
Not being a Quality council will not affect the present activities of the Parish or there statutory duties. However it
is hoped that the majority of local councils will strive to achieve the Quality mark as demonstrable evidence of
their competence as a local council and to take full advantage of the opportunities it presents.
In order to achieve Quality status, Parish/town councils have to complete a number of tests. These test are split
largely into seven categories
1. Electoral Mandate;
2. Qualifications of the Clerk;
3. Council Meetings;
5. Annual Reports;
7. Ethical Framework
The tests are designed to ensure that the town/Parish council is functioning as an effective, representative and
Ms Tracy Crouch