The Parish Council comprises of 7 members elected every four years to represent Somerford. In order to manage Council business and expand resources in a way that delivers best value for money, the Council has adopted a committee structure. Whilst the full Council still makes the most important decisions, such as setting the precept, committees have delegated authority to make decisions in certain areas themselves.
All meetings of the Parish Council and its committees are open to the Public and Press, except when items of a confidential nature are being discussed
How the Council Operates
Important decisions are made by the Full Council.
The Council meet every six weeks to consider matters as detailed on the agendas. There are rules specifying a minimum number of Councillors must be present in order for decisions to be made (quorum) which is 3 Councillors.
The Council employs the Parish Clerk to carry out the decisions on routine administration of the Council. The Parish Clerk is responsible for managing any other employees /instructed workers and ensuring the Council follows correct procedure and legislation.
Committees may from time to time establish working groups of Councillors. Working groups cannot make decisions on behalf of the Council and usually are established to research projects and make recommendations back to the parent committee.
Council and Committee meetings are open to the public to attend and time is set aside for members of the public to address the Council. You can also share your views by contacting your Councillors or the Parish Clerk.
Parish Council History
Parish meetings, which were a forerunner of the Parish Council, had been held in Somerford since 1894. The Parish Council was formed and its first meeting under the Chairmanship of Mr. Alec Young was held on 18th May 1953 at Sunnyside Cafe.
Minutes show that in 1961 no meeting had been held since 1959 'because of illness of various members and other reasons'. Because of this it was resolved to seek an increase of members to seven. There were no meetings in 1965/1966 due to the foot and mouth epidemic. For the next few years the council only met 2 or 3 times in the year and from minutes it can be seen that hardly any items were discussed.
However in the early 70's the Annual Parish Meeting was well attended with 20 or more residents present.
Minutes show that the council discussed:
In 1978 a Right of Way across land in the parish
In 1980 a proposal to move the seat at Pecklow to the junction of Holmes Chapel Rd/Chelford Rd
In 1986 a suggestion for a speed restriction on Black Firs Lane
In 1991 the Council was increased from 5 to 7, some thirty years after it was resolved to seek an increase
More recently the work of the Council has increased and meets monthly. The Council provides a vital part of local democracy, representing local views and guarding local interests. Long may this continue.