East Coker Parish Council is the first, tier of local government in our area. It is one of approximately 8,500 councils in England and as with the other parish councils, it was formed under the Local Government Act 1894. The National Association of Local Councils (including a local Somerset branch) exists to provide support, training and lobby services for us.
In East Coker, there are 13 Parish Councillors and a Parish Clerk. The Parish Clerk guides us with matters of practice and principle as well as acting as an administrative support. Parish Councillors have to be over 18, British nationals or qualifying citizens of the Commonwealth or European Community. Elections occur every 4 years and the councillors are responsible for bringing local issues to the attention of the council and for making decisions on behalf of the local community within the civil parish.
The Parish Council acts as a corporate body, that means that its decisions are the responsibility of the whole group. It has been granted powers by Parliament including the authority to raise money through taxation (the precept) and a range of powers to spend public money. The main motivation is to support the best interests of the Parish and improve life within the community.
Our main areas of responsibility are:
- The Pavilion, sports field & children’s play area;
- The Cemetery;
- The Paddock;
- The Triangle flowerbed.
We provide venues for:
- East Coker Cockerels;
- East Coker Cricket Team.
We act as Advisers on:
- Planning applications;
- Highways and Footpath issues.
We also seek to find other sources of money to undertake improvements in the Parish.
We become involved in special events in the Parish, e.g. Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
We meet on the second Wednesday of every month at the Pavilion in Long Furlong Lane at 7pm, and everyone is most welcome to come and listen to the meetings as well as making an input in the public section at the start of the session.
As our powers are limited, other facilities are provided by South Somerset District Council (e.g. recycling) and Somerset County Council (e.g. education). Councillors from these 2 tiers of government attend every Parish Council meeting.