We have an unusual arrangement. One Parish Council serves two civil parishes - North Cadbury (which incorporates Galhampton and Woolston) and Yarlington. In practice the Parish Council treats the two parishes as a single whole, but in law they are separate and one can work independently of the other if it wishes to. The Parish Clerk who nominally works for about 5 hours a week is the only official and is the best first point of contact for any Parish Council matter.
The Parish Council is the first level of local government. Some say that it is responsible for nothing and is little more than a talking shop. More realistically it is responsible for almost anything that the people of the parish wish. Its function is more to make sure that the upper levels of local government, the district and county councils and other official and charitable bodies do give the service expected of them.
The Parish Council does have specific duties relating to Planning Applications. In fact it is now the only elected body that considers all planning applications in its area. Members of the public are very welcome to make their views known when they see planning application notices posted in the villages and are advised to contact the clerk in the first instance. The Parish Council does not decide planning applications. Its functions are to make the Planning Authority usually the district council but sometimes the county council aware of local views and wishes.
In this area, parish councils have recently had to take over funding for the maintenance of sports and play grounds, the district council having decided that it will no longer contribute to these costs.
The Parish Council is funded from the “Parish Precept” one of the four elements and much the smallest of them that goes to make up the Council Tax. Unfortunately the precept is likely to rise in the coming years, partly because of the change of responsibility for maintaining play and sports facilities, partly because we expect both the county and district councils to pass down other responsibilities as they experience more and more difficulty in balancing their own budgets and partly because the Government now requires parish councils to have rather larger reserves.
The Parish Council works closely with the row District Councillors who represent the Castle Cary Ward and the County Councillor for the Castle Cary Division all of whom regularly attend Parish Council meetings.
The Parish Council meets in alternate months in one of the three village halls, Notices of meetings are posted on the Parish Noticeboards and on this website. In addition Annual General Parish Meetings are held the North Cadbury and Yarlington. Members of the public are more than welcome to attend Parish Council meetings and are permitted to raise any matters relevant to the parishes early in each meeting so that they do not have to stay for the whole meeting unless they wish to do so. Officially members of the public do not join in discussions on agenda items but the Chairman is often sympathetic when someone is bursting to make a contribution to the debate, especially when they have special knowledge.
Parish Councillors are elected on the same day as District Councillors for a period of 4 years. Anyone interested in serving on the Council should let the Clerk know. There are sometimes vacancies and to fill these the Council is allowed to co-opt volunteers, so please contact the Clerk if you are interested.
Members of the Parish council are listed on this web site together with the County Councillor and our tow District Councillors.
Do please let the Parish Council know about anything to do with our villages that concerns you. If the Council cannot do anything about it they probably know who can.