Stogumber Parish Council represents the interests of the village and the whole parish, including the hamlets of Capton, Kingswood, Escott, Castlake, Combe Sydenham, Higher and Lower Vellow, Preston, and Higher and Lower Vexford.
The Parish Council has few powers and not very much money, so to meet the needs of the parish it works through persuasion and facilitation, and in partnership with other organisations and councils. County and District Councils do not have to do what the Parish Council tells them to do, but it is hard for them to completely ignore the Parish Council if we are determined.
There are nine Parish Councillors and a part-time Parish Clerk:
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Publication Scheme was adopted on 12 January 2012 and can be seen here.
How to raise a problem or alert us to an opportunity
If you feel strongly about something, the most effective way of persuading the Parish Council to pursue it on your behalf is to come to a Parish Council meeting and tell us directly what needs doing and why. Every Parish Council meeting is open to the public, and there is always an opportunity for members of the public to speak. You do not need to tell us in advance that you wish to speak, but doing so helps us to plan the meeting agenda.
Alternatively, you can raise issues by writing to the Parish Clerk, or by speaking directly to any Parish Councillor.
The Parish Council meets roughly every two months, usually on a Wednesday evening at 7.30pm in Deane Close Common Room. Meeting dates and agendas are published on the Parish Council noticeboard at the corner of Brook Street and Sawpits, four or more days before the meeting. The Parish Council also holds site meetings to consider planning applications, and information about these are also published on the Parish Council noticeboard. See below for links to minutes of meetings.
The 'planning authority' in our area is West Somerset Council, based in Williton. Planning applications should be sent to West Somerset Council, and West Somerset Council will ultimately make the decision. The Parish Council is always consulted by West Somerset Council about any applications within the parish. Our comments and recommendations are given serious consideration by West Somerset Council, but our recommendations are not always accepted. The Parish Council usually holds a site meeting so that it can understand the proposal and its impact. Members of the public (including the applicant and neighbours) are welcome to attend and speak at these site meetings. Details of site meetings are published on the Parish Council noticeboard.
The Parish Council receives its income as a share (called the 'precept') of the Council Tax collected by West Somerset Council. This has been £3,000 for a couple of years, and £3,200 before that, which was one of the lowest precepts in the District. We now have to start repaying the loan needed to buy Miss May's Field, which we bought to safeguard it for the village and to enable future community uses such as a car park and access to the new graveyard. Before buying the field, we held a poll and explained that buying the field may cause the Parish Council's share of the Council Tax to rise by £20-30 on a band D house. 82% of those who responded to the poll were in favour of the Parish Council buying the field. At its last meeting, the Parish Council considered its budget for the coming year, and decided to increase the precept to £10,000. This will increase the Parish Council's share of the Council Tax from £9.00 in 2011/12 to £29.23 in 2012/13 on a band D house, an increase of £20.23. The precepts for the other bands can be found in the table below.
According to the budget, this would leave the Council with around £2,000 in the current account at the end of the year and around £6,000 in the reserves, which is a little more than at the end of 2011/12. However, we think it likely that, depending on what progress we make with the plans, there may be additional items of expenditure, such as a planning applicatio fee.
For comparison, the precept on a band D house will still lower than for many similar parishes in 2011/12 such as: Brompton Ralph (£30.67); Brushford (£35.11); Carhampton (£37.34); Cutcombe (£35.12); Timberscombe (£30.19); Withycombe (£43.48). The average parish precept (excluding Dulverton, Dunster, Minehead, Porlock, Watchet and Williton which are much higher) is currently £23.70 on a band D house.
As reported in the Standard, the Parish Council is currently investigating how to create vehicle access to the field, and has made good progress with the help of a civil engineer resident in the village, and we hope it will not therefore be too long before we can publish a draft plan for residents to comment upon.
If you have any questions about the precept, Miss May's Field, or any other matter, please contact the Parish Clerk or the Chairman, or indeed any other Councillor.
Contacting the Parish Council
You are also welcome to speak to any of the Parish Councillors about any matters concerning you.
Parish Council email list
The Parish Council receives vast amounts of information from numerous organisations, some of which would be of interest to parishioners, such as crime warnings and road closure notices. The Parish Council places a selection of information on the village noticeboard at the corner of Sawpits, together with notices of forthcoming Parish Council meetings and site meetings, etc.
To supplement the village noticeboard, the Parish Council is setting up an email list, so that information can be sent directly to parishioners. If you would like to join the list, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Parish Council will be selective about what it sends you, but it cannot guarantee that everything will be of interest to everyone! You would of course be able to withdraw from the list at any time.
Minutes of Parish Council meetings
Below are links to the minutes of Parish Council meetings. They are published in draft because the minutes are not formally approved until the following meeting. If you would like to see a copy of the approved minutes, please contact the Parish Clerk.13 March 2013
30 January 2013
19 January 2013 (site meeting)
9 January 20132
14 November 2012
24 October 2012
3 October 2012
19 September 2012
13 September 2012
12 July 2012
17 May 2012
Annual Meeting 17 May 2012
1 May 2012
8 March 2012
12 January 2012
10 November 2011
8 September 2011
14 July 2011
19 May 2011
11 November 2010
15 September 2010
14 July 2010
12 May 2010
10 March 2010
13 January 2010
19 November 2009
9 September 2009