So, what is a parish council?

A bit of history. 

Parish councils go way back in time to the local government act of 1894 when they were formed to rationalize and reform the number of individual bodies which existed for a variety of activities from public health and secular burials to water supply and drainage and a whole host more. Civil parishes took over local oversight of these duties along with the non religious duties from the Vestry Committee, a system of local government that originated in the feudal system.

Sampford ArundelThe Parish Council today

A parish council is the lowest tier of local government whose primary aims are:
  • To represent the local community and aim to deliver services to meet local needs
  • To help improve the quality of life and community wellbeing.

The Parish Council has power...

To provide some facilities themselves or contribute towards provision from others, for example:
  • Support of arts and crafts
  • Maintenance of churchyards
  • Control of litter
  • Maintenance of footpaths & Bridleways
  • Maintenance of 'rights of way'

The Parish Council can help …

In the provision and maintenance of a variety of local services including:
  • Footpaths and bridleways
  • Burial grounds
  • Car parks
  • Crime reduction
  • Events and festivals
  • Planning matters
  • Traffic calming
  • Village greens
  • Highway maintenance

The Parish Council is funded...

By levying a 'precept ' on residents and collected with the local council tax.
The parish council have the power to precept (tax) residents to support and carry out local projects.
The money can only be raised for a limited number of purposes defined by the 1894 act and further legislation.
The parish council have unpaid councillors who normally serve for a four year period.
A paid clerk who is also the financial officer and first contact for all matters concerning the council.

So, what has our parish council done in recent times?


  • Given sympathetic evaluation of planning applications
  • Tidied up the area at the Beam Bridge 
  • Cut back vegetation next to the A38 to improve visibility
  • Erected a new village sign and stone cairn
  • Erected wooden bench and information panel
  • Planted 100's of bulbs and restored grass areas
  • Re-seeded village green with generous support from parishioners ~
  • Repaired and re-painted damaged signpost 
  • Installed CCTV to reduce fly tipping -
  • Instigated 30 mph through village
  • Paid for floodlighting Holy Cross church 
  • On going contact with local authority for pot hole repairs and drainage issues 
  • Organised and funded the Queens Jubilee Party 
  • Maintained constant eyes and ears of local issues.


Recent (2015) project. Negotiating with highway authority over new road configuration from Holywell Lake to A38 for reasons of safety.