What is the Parish Council?
It is the lowest tier of local government. The Council consists of 13 voluntary Councillors who are elected for a four year term of office to serve and administer for the needs of the residents of Sherston. In the event of a vacancy arising, a new member is either elected or co-opted until the next election. The Parish councillors determine and set policy to cater for the social, cultural, welfare and environmental needs of Sherston residents and employ a part time Clerk to the Council to implement policy decisions.
All Councillors adhere to the Parish Council Code of Conduct and complete a Register of Interests. The Council has Committees and Working Groups to concentrate on particular aspects of its work. The membership of Committees and working groups are listed below. It should be noted that where necessary Council co –opts non Councillors onto particular Committees. This has proved particularly beneficial in the past bringing the talents of local residents to bear on specific issues. A present example of this approach is to be found in the make up of the Old School Committee.
What does the Parish Council do?
Whilst the Council has little in the way of direct power it has a reasonable amount of influence and is consulted by the unitary authority Wiltshire Council and national government on a wide range of issues. A good example of this is in relation to planning where the responsible authority is Wiltshire Council. All details of every planning application within the Parish are given to the Parish Council for review and comments are taken into account when decisions are reached.
Another example is highways where Wiltshire Council is the Highway Authority but which consults with the parish over any road scheme or traffic calming measure.
The Parish council is directly responsible for providing the following services to the Village –
• The Pennymead recreation area including all the play equipment
• The Sportsfield including the Skateboard Park and Football pavilion. (The Tennis Courts are privately run by Sherston Tennis Club on land leased from the Council)
• Allotments at Knockdown Road (Contact the clerk if you wish to join the waiting list)
• The High Street Bus shelter as well as public seats around the Village
• Comment on all planning applications
• Promotion of Village projects e.g. Grove Community Wood and the Old School
• Support of Parish organisations through Grants
• Monitoring of Public Rights of Way
How is the Parish Council paid for?
Every year the Council sets its budget and the amount it requires to operate that budget is known as the Parish Precept. This amount is collected by Wiltshire Council from the Council Tax paid by residents of the parish.
See the section below for an explanation about the 2022/2023 precept.
Audited accounts and Budgets
Budgets are produced each and usually approved at the December meeting.
The recent approved budget information for 2023/2024 is listed below:
Annual Budget by Combined Account Code – Read
Forward Plan – Read
Audited accounts are produced each year and as part of the audit system the accounts are available for public inspection. Details of the inspection system are posted at the appropriate time both on this site and the Parish council’s notice board outside the Old School on the High Street.
Click on the links to view Audited Accounts and Annual Returns for each year:
Notice of Public Rights and Publication of unaudited annual governance & accountability return 2021/22 – Read
Notice of Conclusion 2021/22 – Read
External Audit Report 2021/22 – Read
Notice of Conclusion 2019/20 – Read
External Audit Report 2019/20 – Read
Notice of Inspection 2019/20 – Read
Accounts 2019/20 – Read
Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 – Read
Internal Audit Report 2019/20 – Read
Annual Governance Statement 2018/2019 (pdf format)
Notice of conclusion of audit year end 31 March 2019 (pdf format)
Internal Audit Report 2018/19 (pdf format)
Confirmation of the Dates of the Period for Exercise of Public Rights 2019
Notice of Inspection 2018/19 (pdf format)
Final Auditor Report & Certificate 2017/2018 (pdf format)
Annual Governance Statement 2017/2018 (pdf format)
External Auditor Report & Certificate 2017/2018 (pdf format)
Annual Governance Statement 2016/2017 (pdf format)
Accounts Statement 2015/2016 (pdf format)
Annual Accounts 2015/2016 (pdf format)
Financial Summary as at 23/07/2015 (pdf format)
Financial Summary as at 2014/2015 (pdf format)
Financial Summary as at 14/05/2015 (pdf format)
Financial Summary as at 16/04/2015 (pdf format)
Financial Summary as at 12/03/2015 (pdf format)
Financial Summary as at 12/02/2015 (pdf format)
Financial Summary as at 8/01/2015 (pdf format)
Accounts 2013/14 (Excel format)
Accounts 2012/13 (Excel format)
Accounts 2011/12 (Excel format)
Accounts 2010/11 (pdf format)
Accounts 2009/10 (pdf format)
Accounts 2008/9 (pdf format)
Accounts 2007/8 (pdf format)
Accounts 2006/6 (pdf format)
When and where does the Council meet?
Meetings are usually on the 2nd Thursday of every month (except August when there is no meeting) and are held in Sherston Village Hall at 7.30 pm. They usually last for an hour and a half.
The meetings are open to the public and there are opportunities to raise questions and issues both at the beginning and end of every meeting. During the meeting itself it is only with the invitation of the Chairman and the approval of the Council that a member of the public can participate in any debate. In practice this participation is generally welcomed so as to give Council the widest insight into issues before it.
Traditionally all meetings have been held in the village hall at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated.
|May – Annual Parish Council Meeting (election of chair)|
Annual Parish Meeting
|Village Hall Village Hall|
Sherston Precept Increase 2022
You may have noticed that the precept for Sherston was increased this year by some 50.29%. In real terms based on the example of a band D home, this equates to an annual increase of 49.43% (£33.16) when taking into account the banding base rate increase.
We would like to explain some of the reasoning for this, so that hopefully you can relate this increase to some of the activities and improvements you are likely to see around the Parish.
Firstly, we should probably talk a little about some of our funding history, which some of you new to the village may not be aware of. We were very fortunate a few years ago to receive a large donation from a Mr and Mrs North, commonly referred to as the North Legacy (in 2016). The couple, who had lived in the village for most of their lives kindly bequeathed the monies to the Parish on the basis that they were used ‘for the benefit of the young in the village’. These monies allowed us to maintain, enhance and in many cases replace existing village facilities at no cost to residents/our Parish budget. The fund, was also fundamental to us being able to build a pre-school in the village, a vital feed into the Primary School.
Below provides a view of increases since 2013. We are hoping moving forward to smooth out these increases with a view to future proofing the budget to an extent, so that where we can, we are not introducing high increases as a result of minimal or no increases in previous years.
2012-13 – £22,400
2013-14 – £22,400 = 0% increase
2014-15 – £25,757= 15% increase
2015-16 – £26,025 = 1% increase
2016-17 – £26,025 = 0% increase
2017-18 – £26,518 = 1.89% increase
2018-19 – £30,269 = 16% increase
2019-20 – £31,473 = 3.97% increase
2020-21 – £42,225 = 34% increase
2021-22 – £48,397 = 14.6% increase
2022-23 – £72,739 – 50.29%
The full budget will be available to view on the Parish Council website, however we thought it would be helpful to share a number of the key expenditure items planned for this and future years.
- Contract a Parish Maintenance person. We regularly receive requests from residents regarding various concerns they have relating to the state of the village be it, broken fences, hedges requiring trimming, grass cutting etc
- Highway improvements – anticipated Parish contributions over the next few years to address speeding concerns in the village
- Recreation Ground – Maintaining playground equipment and growing our reserves to ensure we are well positioned when they again need replacing.
- Maintaining the sports field off Knockdown road – for example recent tree removal to protect the Tennis Court surface came in at £5000.
- Recreation steps renovation (a contribution of £5,000 has been received from SOSCIC)
- Upgrading our IT systems – all documentation scanned, stored and accessible by councillors online
- Grant for Queens Jubilee celebrations
- Grant for Tennis Court refurbishment
- Donation to Village Hall extension
- Cliffhanger publication – the original premise of the Cliffhanger was that it was self funded through adverts, however in recent years we have found ourselves funding more and more from the Parish Council budget, We will be looking to see how we can address this in future years