Welcome to the Steeple Claydon Parish Council Mini-Site
The Parish Council usually meets on the 1st Tuesday in the month at the Village Hall. There is always a Public Participation item on the agenda where members of the public are invited to speak on any subject that may be concerning them.
Parish councils are the lowest tier of government in England. They are no longer anything to do with the church, although they were in times past. The parish council is responsible for a parish, a small area normally enclosing one community. In the case of Steeple Claydon, a small part of Calvert is also included. If the community is sufficiently large the council may be called a town council, rather than a parish council but its responsibilities and powers are identical. In some small parishes there is no parish council, just an annual parish meeting, however Aylesbury Vale District Council is now fully "parished".
The next tier above parish councils is the district council, which covers a much wider area, and above that comes the county council. As town councils sometimes exist as an alternative to parish councils, you sometimes find city councils in place of district councils. Our District Council is Aylesbury Vale District Council which covers the northern part of Buckinghamshire. The County Council is Buckinghamshire County Council.
Finally, the last re-organisation of local government introduced the concept of unitary authorities combining the function of district and county councils. Milton Keynes is an example of this.
The parish can get money from its residents in the form of a "precept", which is added to the figures requested by the county council, the police authority and the district council and is then collected by the district council in the council tax (previously called the community charge or "poll tax" and, before that, the rates). Steeple Claydon Parish Council holds an annual precept meeting every year where the budget is set. This meeting is open to the general public.
What does the Parish Council Do?
The council has limited powers but a reasonable amount of influence. A prime example of this is planning applications. The planning authority is Aylesbury Vale District Council, but they give details of every planning application within the parish to the Parish Council for review and will take into account the councillors' comments when coming to a decision.
Similarly the Buckinghamshire County Council is the highway authority, but it consults the parish council when appropriate.
The parish council is directly responsible for providing the following services to the village:-
- recreation ground including the tennis courts and play area - including the provision, regular inspection and maintenance of play equipment;
- street lighting;
- village hall;
- commenting on all planning applications;
- firework displays;
- provision of litter-bins;
- public seating;
- upkeep of Vicarage Orchard.