About the Parish Council

Stewkley Parish Council is a small local authority. It has nine councillors who are elected for four years at a time. Vacancies occurring between elections are filled by by-election or co-option. The council is the corporation of the village.

Each year the councillors elect a chairman and vice chairman from amongst their number. There is also a clerk, who is the proper officer and the responsible finance officer of the council.

Meetings take place in the Village Hall at 7.30pm on the first Monday every month. The meeting agenda is posted on parish notice boards the previous Thursday. Members of the public are welcome to attend and there is an Open Forum (usually lasting 30 minutes) where any matters or concerns can be raised. A second meeting on the second to last Monday in the month may be scheduled if it is necessary to complete further council business.

For more detailed information about your Parish Council please click on one of the tabs below:

Parish Council Budget

The parish council forecasts the amount of funding it will require for the following year and requests this funding from Aylesbury Vale District Council in the form of a precept tax that is included within the local Council Tax.

Parish councils are the least bureaucratic and cheapest kind of local authority in existence. Their funds are a tiny part of the council tax. They get no general government grant, and so have every incentive to be economical. The accounts are strictly audited every year by an internal auditor and the Audit Commission.

Who controls the Parish Council?

You do! You elect its members every four years and you are entitled to go to the annual parish meeting and say what you think. Members of the public are also welcome to sit in on the monthly council meetings, and participate when there is a public session.

Parish Council Powers

Parish Councils have a number of formal powers, including

  • Allotments
  • Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria
  • Bus Shelters
  • By-Laws – the power to make by-laws
  • Clocks – public clocks can be provided and must be maintained
  • Community Centres, Conference Centres, Halls, Public Buildings
  • Drainage – of ditches and ponds
  • Entertainment and the Arts
  • Footpaths
  • General Spending – parish councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list
  • Gifts – parish councils may accept gifts
  • Highways – lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of parish council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance
  • Land – acquisition and sale of 
Legal proceedings – power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry
  • Litter – provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns
  • Planning – parish councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area. Any comments submitted to the planning authority by the parish council must be taken into account
  • Postal and Telecommunication Facilities – power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing services in that area
  • Public conveniences – provision and maintenance of public toilets
  • Recreation – provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds
  • Rights of Way – footpath and bridleway maintenance
  • Seats (public)
  • Signs – danger signs, place names and bus stops signs
  • Tourism – financial contributions to any local tourist organisations allowed
  • Traffic Calming
  • War Memorials
  • Water Supply – power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use