What the Parish Council does?

What is a Parish Council?

The Council is the lowest tier of local government. The Council has little power but a reasonable amount of influence. Their main role is to exert influence on the decisions of District and County Councils. They are consulted on local Planning Applications, Highway/Road Safety issues, long term planning and wider community involvement strategies. A Parish Council is a local authority whose councillors are voted on by the electors in the Parish area and serve for four years. Little Shelford Parish Council has 12 councillors. All councillors live or work in Little Shelford. They are elected to serve and administer the residents of Little Shelford. The Parish Councillors determine and set policy to cater for the social, cultural, welfare and environmental needs of Little Shelford. Powers are mostly discretionary, i.e. they can be used to as great or little extent as their community wishes.

All councillors adhere to the Parish Council Code of Conduct and complete a register of interests.

Planning decisions are taken by South Cambridgeshire District Council. They give details of every planning application to Little Shelford Parish Council for the Council to review. They take into account the Parish Council's views and comments on planning applications.

What can Parish Councils do?
Parliament has given various powers to Parish Councils. These powers relate to planning, provision of recreational facilities, community centres and public buildings, crime prevention, community transport, public toilets, tourism, allotments, footpaths, street lighting, certain aspects of highway maintenance, litter, open spaces, traffic calming etc. Powers were recently increased. They also act to represent residents of the parish on issues such as the Local Plan, problems with highways and bins, and with local businesses.

Little Shelford Parish Council is directly responsible  for a number of things in the village:

*       Maintaining the play area at Wale Recreation Ground

*       Maintaining the Wale Recreation Ground,

*       Running the allotments at Garden Fields

*       Looking after the village bus shelters

*       Providing street lighting in The Terrace

*       Commenting on all planning applications

*       Supporting village organisations

*       Providing a focus within the village for action/representations on key issues

*       Monitoring Public Rights of Way

Where do Parish Councils get their money?

The Parish Council sets a budget every year known as the Precept. The money is collected for them by South Cambridgeshire District Council through the Council Tax bills. This is paid by the electors in the Parish.  In 2007/2008, the Parish Council had an income of £15,000. The Parish Council may also receive grants and income in other ways. They use this to help improve life for their local community in many ways.
What does Little Shelford Parish Council do?

Elections to the Parish Council are held every 4 years. The total population of the area is 800.

The Parish Council employs a part-time Parish Clerk to implement policy decisions. The Parish Clerk, Jill Taylor, carries out her duties from her home at 830461.The Parish Council also provides a conduit for complaints regarding overgrown trees, silted up drains, street lighting, sewage problems, grass verges and street cleansing. They lobby for improvements in highways, footpaths, road safety etc.

It is responsible for managing open spaces, allotment provision, public buildings and can identify areas for small-scale environmental improvements, such as green spaces, street lighting, bus shelters, public seating, notice boards etc. Representation is made to other local councils where appropriate on planning and other matters. It is also able to provide grants to groups within the community.
How often does the Parish Council meet?
The council meets every two months at Little Shelford Village Hall. The meetings are open to members of the public. All meetings start at 8pm. Members of the public can speak at the meetings for 12 minutes on any subject.

How do I contact the Parish Council?


By phone - clerk Jill Taylor can be contacted on 830461.

How do I find out what has been agreed at Parish Council Meetings?
You will find minutes of meetings on the "Agendas and Minutes" section of this website and on the notice board in the Village Hall. Minutes cannot be published until approved (as a true record of the particular meeting) at the following Parish Council or Planning meeting.

What are the other councils in Little Shelford?

The next tier above Parish Councils is the District Council (in our case, South Cambridgeshire District Council) which covers a much wider area, and above that comes Cambridgeshire County Council.

What is a Parish?

The Parish is an area with a defined boundary, both in civil (administrative) and ecclesiastical (religious) terms.


David Martin,
28 Jun 2010, 08:30