The Council

Parish Councillors August 2015 (two absent)
Parish Councillors August 2015 (two absent)

Cheddar Parish Council is the fourth tier of government after parliament, the county council and the district council. Its legal powers are granted and regulated by various government acts.

The Parish Council supplements the provision of local government services in Sedgemoor, while promoting and representing the village with other national and statutory bodies.

For example the Parish Council acts as a consultee and lobbying force with both the county and district councils, and both regional and national government, putting forward the wishes and needs of the local community. Somerset County Council, (whose main responsibilities include education, social services, highways, fire and rescue, strategic planning and libraries), consult with the Parish Council on such subjects as the County Structure Plan, the Local Transport Plan etc. and Sedgemoor District Council (which is mainly responsible for development control, environmental health, refuse collection, economic development, tourism and major recreational facilities also consults with the Parish Council on such matters as the District Wide Local Plan, planning applications within Cheddar, and the economic development strategy. (See also the useful links page for details of Somerset County Council’s and Sedgemoor District Council’s responsibilities).

How the Parish Council operates

The Parish Council has 15 Parish Councillors elected for a term of four years. The Civic Year runs from May to April with the election of the Chairman of Council and Vice Chairman taking place at the statutory Annual meeting in May. The roles of Chairmen of Committees are filled by councillors who have been nominated and voted for by their councillor colleagues.The Council operates on a committee system covering Policy and Resources, Planning, and Highways & Open Spaces. The Full Council meets on the last Tuesday of every month unless otherwise advertised.This committee system enables members to consider more complex issues in some detail at committee level, and to make recommendations to the full Council as to what the Parish Council’s response should be. Such recommendations are approved (or otherwise) by all members voting at the full Council meeting.Subject matters are brought before the relevant committee or full council by means of the agenda, which is issued a minimum of three days before a meeting and is published on the notice board outside the Parish Hall. The recorded minutes of meetings are posted on this website.

Notice board location

Outside the Parish Hall, Church Street, Cheddar, and also in Hill Lane, Nyland.

Parish Council Funding

The Council Tax paid by Cheddar residents, includes the spending requirements of Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Avon and Somerset Police Authority and this Parish Council. Many people do not realise that the Parish Council does not receive any revenue support from central government, unlike the County and District Councils; neither does it receive any funding from local businesses and retailers via their payment of the non-domestic rate. Each year the Parish Council calculates the money it needs to raise to provide its services and any capital projects, which are planned for the year ahead. This sum, called the precept, is the amount we levy on the district council and which they collect as a proportion of the total council tax paid by Cheddar households.

Council meetings

Meetings of the Full Council are usually held on the last Tuesday of the month at 7.00 pm in the Parish Hall, Church Street.  Meetings of the Highways & Open Spaces, Planning and Policy & Resources Committees are held on separate Tuesday evenings during the month (see notice board for details). The Press and Public are welcome to attend all Council meetings and the Public may put questions or make statements on any matter in the public session at the commencement of each meeting. This is normally restricted to 30 minutes in total, with a maximum of three minutes per speaker. Anyone who wishes to speak should give the Clerk written notice by 12 noon on the Friday preceding the meeting. The Annual Parish Meeting at which members of the public are welcome to ask any questions of the Council is held in April at Hannah More Cottage.  At this meeting the Chairman of Council will give a report of the work of the Council in the past year, and outline proposals for the coming year.

The May meeting of the Full Council held on the last Tuesday of the month will be the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at which the Chairman and Chairmen of Comittees are elected.

Council meeting agendas

The full Parish Council of all 15 councillors meets to consider the items detailed on the agenda. The Parish Council has no authority to make a decision on any item that has not been properly and publicly advertised by being displayed via the agenda.

Parish Twinning

We are twinned with Felsberg (Germany), Vernouillet (France) and have a friendship link with St Ann (Jamaica)

Freedom of Information

Please see this link to the Publication Scheme for further information.

Becoming a councillor

Parish Councillors are elected for a period of four years at elections held on the first Thursday in May, 2015 was an election year, and then 2019, 2023 etc. Interim vacancies are filled for councillors who resign or are deceased, either via by-election or co-option. For more information on the role of a councillor please see the NALC publications page. Vacancies on the parish council will be advertised locally and on this web site, and you can contact the Clerk for further details and an application form.