The Parish Council is the first tier of local government and has a range of powers and duties given to it by various Acts of Parliament and pieces of legislation which can be used to benefit the whole parish community.
The most important ones are :
- the power to put up street lights and bus stops plus signs warning of danger, to maintain footpaths and bridleways and to liaise with Oxfordshire County Council to ensure that roads are maintained;
- to provide allotments (where a need for allotments has been proved);
- to provide and maintain a burial ground;
- to buy land and provide and maintain buildings for the benefit of the people of the Parish (for meeting areas, recreational or community use);
- to encourage and provide facilities for visitors;
- to spend a certain amount (currently £7.20 per head of population of the parish) on anything which , in the opinion of the Parish Council will bring benefit to or is in the interests of the residents of the Parish.
For the full list click on this link List of Parish Council Powers
The Parish Council is also responsible for the following day to day matters:
- to provide dog bins (currently three) and pays for them to be emptied;
- to maintain the playground and ensure that it has a safety inspection every year;
- to arrange for the verges to be mown and strimmed as part of an agreement with Oxfordshire County Council who make a small payment to the Parish which covers part of the cost;
- to provide and fill grit bins to keep pavements free from snow/ice;
- to arrange for the snow to be cleared from roads that are not main gritting routes and therefore not cleared by Oxfordshire County Council;
- to alert Cherwell District Council as to litter clearance and road sweeping issues;
- The Council also receives and comments on documents and draft policies sent by a range of bodies.
- The Parish Council has a statutory right to be consulted on all planning applications within the Parish boundaries. It considers planning applications submitted to CDC and comments on them. While the Council does not have the right to veto any planning application, the Planning Authority has a duty to take the Parish Council’s responses into account when making a decision on an application. The Parish Council welcomes feedback from villagers on planning applications that it is considering.
The Parish Council is also responsible for setting the Parish Precept which determines the funds available for carrying out Parish tasks
Before the start of a financial year each Parish Council forecasts the amount of funding it will require for the following year and requests this funding from its local District Council (Cherwell). Payment is made in the form of a precept tax that is included within the local Council Tax that all home owners pay to the District Council. The money is paid to the Parish Council in two six monthly instalments during the year.