Welcome to the Official Website of Cheddar Parish Council

This site is designed to give as much information as possible about the Parish Council - where it is, what its responsibilities are and how you can contact us.

If you are looking for downloadable documents on this site, such as Agenda's of forthcoming meetings, or historical data, then please use the search bar at the top of the page, simply type in the document type, or even a word you would expect to appear in the document, and all documents containing that word or phrase will be searched and presented at the bottom of the page. Please be patient, it can take several seconds to find them all!!

Links on the menu bar, will allow you to navigate to other sections of the website and to the detailed sections about the Council, its members and its work.

We aim to develop and add to this site over time so we  welcome all comments and feedback - if you think there's anything missing from this site please feel free to use the contact details (follow Contact link, and either call, or email through the Contact Form) to let us know.

How does your Parish Council operate?

The Parish Council has 15 Parish Councillors elected for a term of four years. The Civic Year runs from May to April with the election of the Chairman of Council and Vice Chairman taking place at the statutory Annual meeting in May. The roles of Chairmen of Committees are filled by councillors who have been nominated and voted for by their councillor colleagues.

The Council operates on a committee system covering Policy and Resources, Planning and Highways & Open Spaces. The Full Council meets on the last Tuesday of every month unless otherwise advertised.

This committee system enables members to consider more complex issues in some detail at committee level, and to make recommendations to the full Council as to what the Parish Council's response should be. Such recommendations are approved (or otherwise) by all members voting at the full Council meeting.

Subject matters are brought before the relevant committee or full council by means of the agenda, which is issued a minimum of three days before a meeting and is published on the notice board outside the Parish Hall. The recorded minutes of meetings are posted on this website.

Minutes and other Documents

All Parish Council meetings are open to members of the public, except where the press and public are excluded by resolution when the Council has confidential business to discuss. This does not include the right to speak, unless prior written notice has been given to the Clerk.

The standard Full Council Agenda items are as follows:

Apologies for absence

Declarations of personal or prejudicial interest

Approval of the minutes of all the previous month's meetings including matters arising

Matters raised by members

Matters arising from new correspondence requiring a decision or for information only, usually circulated in advance to members.

Approval of recommendations from the Policy & Resources Committee

Approval of payments

Parish Council Agendas are set by the Parish Clerk in liaison with the Chairman of Council. However any Councillor can request an item to be put on the Agenda. This can be done informally either through the Clerk or Chairman, or formally, by means of a motion, as per the Parish Council's Standing Orders (the Council's operating rules and regulations).

If, after discussion of an Agenda item, the Council decides that a Working Group should be formed to look at the matter in more detail then the membership and the remit of the group will be agreed by the Council. The membership of the Group can also include people who are not Councillors, but who have knowledge or expertise relevant to the subject matter.

The minutes of Parish Council meetings are not a verbatim account of the meeting but detail decisions reached. Minutes are not normally published until they have been formally approved at the following meeting. Once published, they will be available to the public via this website, and at the Parish Council's office.

Once a decision has been passed by the Council and a course of action identified, the work is organised and/or carried out by the Parish Council's Executive Officer, the Parish Clerk, who is assisted by the Assistant Clerk, Village Orderly and Sports Pavilion Caretaker who work part-time.

Notice Board Location

The Parish Hall, Church Street, Cheddar.

How is the Parish Council funded?

The Council Tax paid by Cheddar residents, includes the spending requirements of Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Avon and Somerset Police Authority and this Parish Council.

Many people do not realise that the Parish Council does not receive any revenue support from central government, unlike the County and District Councils; neither does it receive any funding from local businesses and retailers via their payment of the non-domestic rate.

Each year the Parish Council calculates the money it needs to raise to provide its services and any capital projects, which are planned for the year ahead. This sum, called the precept, is the amount we levy on the district council and which they collect as a proportion of the total council tax paid by Cheddar households.

When and where does the Council meet?

Meetings of the Full Council are usually held on the last Tuesday of the month at 7.00 pm in the Parish Hall, Church Street. Meetings of the Highways & Open Spaces, Planning and Policy & Resources Committees are held on separate Tuesday evenings during the month (see notice board for details). The Press and Public are welcome to attend all Council meetings and the Public may put questions or make statements on any matter in the public session at the commencement of each meeting. This is normally restricted to 30 minutes in total, with a maximum of three minutes per speaker. Anyone who wishes to speak should give the Clerk written notice by 12 noon on the Friday preceding the meeting.

The Annual Parish Meeting at which members of the public are welcome to ask any questions of the Council is held in April at Hannah More Cottage. At this meeting the Chairman of Council will give a report of the work of the Council in the past year, and outline proposals for the coming year.

The May meeting of the Full Council held on the last Tuesday of the month will be the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at which the Chairman and Chairmen of Comittees are elected.

How do the Council meetings operate?

The full Parish Council of all 15 councillors meets to consider the items detailed on the agenda. The Parish Council has no authority to make a decision on any item that has not been properly and publicly advertised by being displayed via the agenda.