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Yesterday 15th August, our grounds maintenance contractor experienced significant damage to his mower whilst cutting Stoke Road Green. This was due to the cutting deck making contact with a brick that was in the grass and not easily visible and the resulting damage means that some parts will need to be replaced. He reports routinely finding large stones etc in the grass whenever he comes to mow and whilst he normally looks for and then removes them before cutting, this one eluded him.  

We believe that these stones are being used as football goal markers and we would ask that something other than stones and rocks are used to mark goals; the time-honoured method is, or used to be a coat or a jersey and in my experience that works perfectly well, so could we please ask parents to encourage their children to not use stones etc. Whilst the last thing we are seeking is to discourage play on the green, the bottom line is that stones, bricks etc must NOT be left on the green.

We have a very good working relationship with our contractor and would not want to prejudice that, so your co-operation in this initiative is appreciated.

Next Meetings


9th August 2017 at 7.15pm:

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7th August 2017 at 7.30pm

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Role of the Council

There are some 8,500 parish councils in England, where they form the lowest tier of local government. They are not involved with the administration of religious parishes; that is the preserve of the parochial church councils, with whom parish councils are sometimes confused.

All councils are constituted in the same way; councillors are elected by the local government electorate and serve for a period of 4 years. The number of councillors is fixed by the principal council ie South Northants Council (SNC). Ashton Parish Council has seven councillors, who serve voluntarily and are unpaid. The Council is supported and its business administered by a paid Clerk, whose full title is Clerk and Proper Officer as the role has duties and responsibilities under the law.

Each council has a Chair, who must be one of the elected councillors. The Chair is elected annually by the councillors at the annual meeting in May. The council is a body corporate and thus its lawful acts, assets and liabilities are its own and not those of its councillors or any other council. Individual councillors cannot make decisions in isolation.

All parish councils have discretionary powers and rights laid down by Parliament to represent their communities and provide services for them. Recent government policy and legislation has been to develop through ‘localism’ and thus parish councils are encouraged to act as a focus for local opinion as well as providing ways to get things done in a manner that is best suited to their local community. A council must act within the law. It can only spend, raise or use money if it has a statutory power to do so, otherwise it acts ultra vires (beyond its powers). Parish councils have a wide range of powers under different acts of Parliament. Most of these powers are discretionary, i.e. a council may do something, rather than it must do something.

As the lowest tier of democratically elected representatives in the country, parish councils have the mandate to speak on behalf of the people they represent. It is important to note that whilst parish councils are consulted by the principal council (SNC) on planning applications, they do not decide whether permission is granted or refused; that decision falls to the Planning Authority (SNC), not the parish council.

A parish council has the unfettered right to raise money by precept (a mandatory demand) on the principal council (SNC). The precept required by a parish council is then collected by the principal council as part of the council tax levied on tax payers in that parish.

There are certain obligations which by law a parish council must fulfil. For example:

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