Bulkington Parish Council

                                                     (Last updated March 17th 2020)

Parish Council Members

Chairman – Paul Bennett        Tel: 828374   Email: paul.bennett@bulkington-pc.co.uk 7 Northfields SN10 1SE

Councillor Ian Pendlebery   Tel: 828859   Email: ian.pendlebery@bulkington-pc.co.uk 52 Bulkington SN10 1SL

CouncillorKaren Lock           Tel: 828328  Email:karen.lock@bulkington-pc.co.uk Purnells House, 2 Mill Lane 

                                                                                                                                                                 SN10 1SW

Councillor - Amy Powell Tel: 827118 Email: amy.powell@bulkington-pc.co.uk

Councillor - Simon Downey Email: simon.downey@bulkington-pc.co.uk Farthings, Bulkington

Councillor - Paul Munslow Email: Paul.Munslow@bulkington-pc.co.uk

Parish Clerk - Hannah Becket   Email: theclerk@bulkington-pc.co.uk 

Parish Council Meetings

The Parish Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 7.00 pm in the Village Hall. In addition to these monthly meetings the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Meeting of The Parish Council are special meetings held once a year in May. For details of these meetings please see below. 

Members of the public and parishioners are always very welcome to attend these meetings and copies of the Agenda are available from the Parish Clerk three working days prior to the meeting, or on the Parish Council Noticeboard in the village.

The Parish Council are always very pleased to hear the views of Parishioners on any subject relevant to the village and to the duties and responsibilities of the Parish Council, in particular how the public
finances of the Council and it's Precept are managed. At the start of each Meeting there is an Open Forum in which there is an opportunity for the Public to speak and to ask questions of the Council. There is no obligation to stay to the end of the Meeting.

Meetings are usually attended by our local County Councillor Jonathon Seed, who is also Chairman of the Melksham Area Board - the next tier of local government responsible for local matters.

For further information please contact the Parish Clerk.

What is the Annual Parish Meeting?

Held annually in May this meeting is open to all members of the public although only those who are resident within the Parish are normally allowed to speak. It is an opportunity to discuss any topics of local interest and to examine any proposals or ideas that might be of benefit to the village, or perhaps to try to resolve problems or air something that needs doing (or not doing). It is designed to be an informal and user-friendly meeting presided over by the Parish Council Chairman. It may be an opportunity for Village organisations to summarise their activities, what they are doing and want to do and generally advertise themselves. In some circumstances where a particular issue is of importance to the village a representative speaker may be asked to precede the meeting, after which everyone would have a chance to put questions for clarification. If you have a particular item of interest/concern then you might like to give notice by having it included on the agenda. In this way everyone has a chance to think about it in advance and formulate their responses. However, it is not a requirement, you can just turn up on the day with your idea and see what everyone thinks about it.

If you wish to have an item put on the agenda then you will need to contact the Parish Clerk no later than three weeks before the meeting date.

What is the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council?

Held annually in May this meeting is where we elect a chairman and vice-chairman, and appoint committee members and representatives to other bodies. It is still a meeting of the council.

What is a Parish Council?

The following links may help to explain the workings of a Parish Council;

Who controls the Parish Council?

You elect its members every four years and you are entitled to go to each bi-monthly meeting of the Parish Council, and to the Annual Parish Meeting in May and rxpress your views and concerns with regard to the village. The accounts of the Parish Council are strictly audited every year.

Download a copy of Bulkington Parish Map.pdf

Parish Council Planning Explained

Bulkington ParishCouncil is not a Planning Authority, but under the Local Government Act1972 is able to make observations to the Planning Authority with regard to applications within the Parish.

The Planning Authority for the Parish of Bulkington is Wiltshire Council.

The Parish Council meetings are public meetings, and are held bi-monthly. If appropriate, responses to Planning Applications are considered.  More often than not, because our views have to be returned promptly to the Planning Officer, a planning meeting is convened at 3 days notice to review specific planning applications. This too is a public meeting.

The Parish Council does not have executive powers to accept or reject applications, but it's views are considered when the application is determined by the relevant authority. The Parish Council also contributes views on Local Area and Regional Strategies on subjects such as housing, transport, environment and employment.

Copies of applications are received by the clerk for review at the meeting. All Councillors are encouraged to review the application online and to visit the site. At the meeting we will review all the site plans, elevations, block plans,design statement etc. Councillors will consider all aspects of the application including its  position in relation to the existing and neighbouring buildings, its design, whether it creates a loss of privacy or light to nearby properties, its appearance in the street scene, whether it affects local drainage or parking and the overall needs and requirements of the  village. Interested parties will be given time to address the members in relation to their support or objection to a planning application.

The Parish Council is completely objective and any Councillor directly affected by an application must declare this and if they wish to pass comment upon it specifically, they must declare either a personal or prejudicial interest in the outcome of that application and will not be allowed to participate in the vote. Indeed, they will be asked to leave the room whilst the Parish Council votes on the application. We take objections to planning applications very seriously and they must be made with good cause which must be grounded in planning law.

Applicants have a basic right to expect that when they submit a planning application that it will be approved unless there is justifiable grounds to refuse it (not the other way round), whether Councillors like an application or not is irrelevant.

What the Parish Council can bring to the planning department at Wiltshire Council is local knowledge which can help the planning officer when determining the application.

Once the Parish Council has decided its response, the clerk sends the Parish Council's submission to the case officer at Wiltshire Council. If the Parish Council has objected to an application the case officer is asked to only grant permission if the objections can be overcome. Inpractice this is often not the case and we have found that the majority of planning applications are determined by the case officer (who  is employed by Wiltshire Council), irrespective of any objections we may have raised.

There are occasions though if an application is contentious that the case officer might refer the application to committee. Equally we can ask for an application to be called to Committee through our Councillor Jonathan Seed. This means that the case officer will recommend a decision but the application will be determined by a committee made up of elected Councillors. They will consider all the representations made by both statutory consultees and local residents and will then vote on whether to approve an application.

Even if consent is not given, an applicant has the right to appeal, as we saw with the Difford application. The appeal may or may not be successful.

Publication Scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

1. Council Internal Practice & Procedure

  • Minutes of Meetings of the Parish Council over the last 2 years; Available for inspection from the Parish Clerk.
  • Most recent finally approved Minutes displayed on Notice Board;
  • latest draft Minutes on village website: www.bulkington.org.uk
  • Hard copies charged for at a rate to cover photocopying, and postage if necessary

2. Planning Documents

Parish Council's comments on Applications
Photocopies available from the Parish Clerk on request, charged as above

3. Audit & Accounts

Annual Return and External Auditor's Certificate and Opinion for last Financial Year Displayed on Notice Board for 14 days after completion of Audit. Photocopies available from the Parish Clerk on request, charged as above.
Accounts and supporting documents available for inspection on application to the Clerk for 14 working days before Auditor's appointed date, and 14 days after completion of Audit: copies may be made by Local Government Electors.

 Annual Governance & Accountability Return 2018/19

 Accounting Statements 20182019.pdf

 Annual Governance Statement 2018 2019.pdf

 Certificate of Exemption AGAR 2018 2019.pdf

4. Parish Council Assets

Three areas of Common Land registered in 1971: Fullwood Green (RW & HC Breach have Grazing Rights), the Drove and Gaston Green ( no registered grazing rights on either)

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