About Awliscombe Parish Council
There are two sorts of parishes, whose boundaries do not always coincide. These are a) Ecclesiastical parishes centered on an Anglican church with a parochial church council, and b) the Civil Parishes, which are part of local administration. That’s us, the Civil Parish! A civil parish is an independent local democratic unit for villages. Each parish has a Parish (or Town) Meeting, and where the electorate exceeds 200, have a Parish or Town council. Awliscombe has 450+ residents (circa 215 properties) and we have a Parish Council. To see a map of the parish, please click here
For details supplied from the Chuirch Council go to ‘Church’ in the ‘Amenities’ section on this website
The parish (and Town) council is the tier of local government closest to the people. A parish council represents the concerns of the local community. It is an elected body made up of local people representing the interests of the community. Above us are our Principal Authorities of East Devon District Council and Devon County Council. For a little history on parish council development, responsibilities, funding, and Statutory Powers (available to parish councils), please click here.
Awliscombe Parish Council consists of seven Councillors elected for a term of four years (voluntary and unpaid role). It appoints and employs the Clerk who administers the affairs of the Council between meetings. We do pay the Clerk. Clerk and Councillor details can be found from ‘Councillors’ in the left hand menu column on this page.
Vacancies occurring between elections are filled by bye-election (if requested) or co-option. The council is the corporation of its village or town.
The Council are now meeting virtually through the ‘Zoom’ platform every six weeks on a Monday. Details of the meeting will be published on this website on the meeting agendas with the link to meeting.
Past agendas and minutes are available here (from the menus in the left hand column on this page). A notice and Agenda for each meeting is always displayed on the village notice boards at least 3 days in advance of the meeting. At that time, the Agenda for the next meeting and the draft minutes from the last meeting will also available on this website (please see menus on the left hand side of this page). The draft Minutes of the last meeting are ratified at the following meeting and then finalised on this website. An archive of agendas and minutes exist on this website (please see the menu list on the left hand side of this page).
Each meeting has a ‘Parishioners Questions’ as an agenda item. This allows members of the public present to speak and raise any points of general concern to the Parish. There is often also an opportunity to hear from and question our District and County Councillors’ and our police Beat Manager or PCSO.
Parish Council Meetings are managed by a set of standing orders (please see the policy and documents menu on the left hand side of this page).
Parish Council Newsletter
The Council publishes a newsletter, ‘The Awliscombe & Weston Times’, each month, and this is delivered to every home in the Parish. It contains matters of general interest, a summary of the last Parish Council meeting and details of community activities. It is hoped to archive some back numbers of the newsletter on this website at a future time.
The Annual Parish General Meeting (AGM)
This is usually held in the second week of May (but the date may vary a little). It is not a meeting of the Council but an opportunity for all residents to attend to hear reports from the Council, from parish organisations, and to raise any other local matters they wish to air.
Each year at the AGM the councillors choose a chairman from amongst their number. There is also a vice-chairman and a clerk, who is the Proper Officer and the Responsible Finance Officer of the council.
So What Does A Parish Council Do?
Parish Councils have a number of formal powers. Many provide allotments, look after playing fields, play areas and village greens, They can maintain and guard things such as rights of way, bus shelters, public seats, small scale street lighting, and often provide village halls and meeting places. The Parish council can do these things by actually providing them itself, or by helping someone else (such as a local charity or a group of volunteers in a local organisation) financially to do so.
Parish councils have the power to improve the quality of community life by spending sums of money on things that, in their opinion, are in the interests of the parish or it’s inhabitants. Parish Councils can be a provider or an enabler.
So What has Awliscombe Parish Council Done in Recent Times?
Some provider examples:
-A Parish Plan based on a survey of all parishioner households. This plan produced an action plan that has been regularly updated on progress. The Parish Plan and it’s Action Plan are maintained in ‘Poicy & Doccuments’ from the left hand menu.
-The provision of a new notice board at the Parish Hall.
-The creation of this website and the monthly newsletter.
-The annual litter cleanup.
-Completed a Housing Needs Assessment Survey.
-Created a Parish Emergency Plan.
Some enabler examples:
-Negotiated with Highways on steps from the A373 to the Parish Hall car park.
-Negotiated with Highways on improvements to the pavement in front of the Awliscombe Inn.
-Found funding for radiator guards for Little Otters Group and a sound system for the primary school.
-Supported the school Travel plan (bronze award).
-Provided consultation feedback on iterations of the Local Development Plan (EDDC).
-Became part of the flood management group involved with in discussions with the Environment Agency and higher principal authorities .
-Established a volunteer group to run the Village Market (now unfortunately reduced from a monthly to an annual event).
-Started ‘Focus on Youth’. Unfortunately this is no longer operational due to lack of parental interest.
It’s not all excitement and glamour!
Comment upon applications for Planning Consent within the parish boundary.The Parish Council is a statutory consultee, and receives copies of all plans from the District Council, but has no actual power to refuse or consent to an application. It acts as a voice of the parish, rather than for any individual (whether that individual is applying for consent or objecting to it being given). How the application will affect the parish and community is our prime concern.
We administer and maintain The War Memorial and the bench in Greenway lane.
We decides on donations to local groups that help and support the community.
We monitor the state of the roads, signposts, signs and grit bins and attempt, with varying success, to persuade other authorities (mainly Devon County Council) to keep these up to standard.
We attend Parish and Town Council meetings run by our Principal Authorities and by our District or County Councillors’.
We attend seminars and training courses run by the Devon Association of Local Councils.
We (try) to keep on top of the paperwork, including an incredible number of consultations from every conceivable organisation; a paper mountain which threatens to engulf all councils, whether principal or local. We couldn’t mange without our Clerk!