The Parish Council
Culmstock Parish council is a small local authority. Its councillors are elected for four years at a time. The last election in this parish was in 2011. Vacancies occurring between elections are filled by bye-election (if requested) or co-option. Each year the councillors choose a chairman from amongst their number. There is also a vice-chairman and a clerk, who is the Proper Officer and the Responsible Finance Officer of the council.
Parish Councils have a number of formal powers. Many provide allotments, look after playing fields, play areas and village greens, they maintain and guard things such as rights of way, bus shelters, public seats, small scale street lighting, and often provide village halls and meeting places. The Parish council can do these things by actually providing them itself, or by helping someone else (such as a charity or volunteers) financially to do so. Parish councils have the power to improve the quality of community life by spending sums of money on things which, in their opinion, are in the interests of the parish or its inhabitants.
Councils are also the focal point for local consultation on matters such as planning applications and Borough Council strategic planning. The parish councillors know the village and can represent its views to other authorities such as District and County Councils. They are entitled to be consulted on planning applications and are often consulted on things like schools and roads. They put the parish’s case at public enquiries.
How much do they cost?
Parish councils are the most unbureaucratic 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 external auditor.
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.
When do they meet?
This is normally on the second Wednesday of the month, with a recess in August at 7pm in the function room of Culmstock Village Hall. Occasionally the date or time of the meeting may change. Details of meetings are displayed on the agenda. The agenda is published on the website and notice of the meeting is displayed on the Parish notice boards; outside of Culmstock Village Hall, post office and church. Notice is also usually displayed in the surrounding hamlets of Nicolashayne, Prescott and Maidendown. Members of the public are invited to attend and may address the council at the start of the meeting. Minutes of meetings are displayed on the Parish website and a summary is published in the Culmstock News.
Please contact the Parish Clerk for more information.
Mid Devon District Council consult the Parish Council on all planning applications submitted within the Parish. However, the final decision as to whether or not permission is granted lies with the district council. Any individual may make a comment to the district council regarding a planning application.
Click here for the Mid Devon District Council weekly list of planning applications.
To find details of any planning application click here.
See the links below for help when commenting on a planning application:
Click here for information from MDDC.
Click here for more help with planning applications.