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Considerations for a Parish Council

Considerations for a Parish Council

The article regarding Pittville having a parish council (Echo Jan 7th), made interesting reading.

Of course, as the article states, the people of Pittville should have the final say on whether they believe that a parish council is necessary, and whether an extra tier of bureaucracy is really going to give them better or more services than those currently being provided by Cheltenham Borough Council.

There is also the matter of the precept (tax) that entitles an established parish council to raise additional money from the Borough Council, in order to add any needed extra services in the area. This extra tax is added to the current community charge.

A parish council requires a clerk to run the administration duties, and from past experiences, it is worth reminding Pittville readers, that a parish clerk will need to be paid a salary, whether they are part-time or full-time.

And like most things associated with parish councils, the work gets more, not less.

Civil parish councils were formed in England in 1894, mainly to enable the provision of civic duties in rural towns and villages, which is why Charlton Kings, Leckhampton, Warden Hill, Prestbury, Swindon Village and Up Hatherley, were formed.

Those same villages, even though they have expanded over time, are still very much semi-rural villages, with their village greens and old English style pubs, just as they were in 1894.

Cllr Dennis Parsons’ comment about “someone from Charlton Kings making a decision about Pittville’s allotments” is bogus.

He should know that councils have a statutory obligation to provide land for use as allotments, when six or more council tax payers make a request for the council to acquire land for that purpose. (Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908).

Far better to do that than point a finger at Charlton Kings parish council as the reason why Pittville would be prevented from having their own allotments.

It will be interesting to see what response there will be when the public consultation takes place. Pittville residents should be careful what they wish for themselves, and not be persuaded by what appears to be an ego trip by one of its councillors.


This is a published letter to the Echo from Les Godwin

Mill Lane Flood Alleviation Scheme

Mill Lane Flood Alleviation Scheme

Residents of Prestbury, particularly those living in the centre of the village are reliant on the Flood Alleviation Scheme to minimise the risk of local flooding. The Parish Council Flood Wardens keep a close eye on the scheme and forward information to the Environment Agency. Despite repeated requests from your PAB Councillors no action was planned to reduce the increasing levels of silt and gravel . Finally in December a request for action was requested from Floodline, the Environment Agency’s Emergency service. The scheme was inspected and an action plan implemented within days. As a result Environment Agency personnel worked for over a week to removed, gravel, silt and vegetation. The result, as the ‘after’ photograph shows is a clear channel that should be able to cope with any deluge that might occur.

Why did Martin Horwood request the resignation of Dennis Parsons from his role as chairman of the Cheltenham Liberal Democrats?

Why did Martin Horwood request the resignation of Dennis Parsons from his role as chairman of the Cheltenham Liberal Democrats?

It is clear that he believed that the speech made by your Lib Dem Councillor Dennis Parsons at their annual party conference suggesting prostitution as a career option offered to school children was dangerous and likely to damage the reputation of their Party. Tim Farron insisted the views of Dennis Parsons on this matter were not shared by him or it appears the rest of his party when listening to the reception it received in the conference.

PAB have not resorted to ‘smear tactics’, or deliberately misinterpreted his statements, we are simply stating that his views as interpreted by his National Party leader and Cheltenham’s last MP, do not belong in Pittville. If his views really were ‘misinterpreted’ why did he resign as chairman to protect his party. We believe he should have offered this same respect to Cheltenham Borough Council.

The original story received considerably less coverage in the local than the national press, where several quality daily’s reported outrage at his speech, yet the Echo simply printed his denial, claim of misinterpretation and apology. It did not offer an understanding of the full story or context of his statements. It is for this reason that we sought to give ward members an opportunity to understand exactly what had been said, even offering a link to hear the speech so they can determine for themselves the opinions of their Liberal Democrat representative.