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Parish Council

Parish, Town and Community Councils are the most direct form of democracy in England and Wales, being the first tier of local government. Thurston Parish Council has been in existence since 1894, making it one of the oldest Parish Councils and, in 1994, celebrated its centenary with various commemorative activities.

This tier of local government has had a variety of responsibilities placed upon it due to changes within the law relating to the Localism Act of 2011, the Audit and Accountability Act of 2014 and a number of other legislation currently being laid before parliament. This has resulted in a busier Council and, from a resident's perspective, a more local place to access information and raise concerns.

The Council is an elected body with eleven seats filled by Thurston residents whose primary function is to ensure that the Parish is efficiently and economically run using a proportion of the annual Council Tax income.

The Parish Council has a broad range of responsibilities some of which can be summarized below:

  • Provision of Sports. Recreational and Leisure Facilities
  • Provision of Playgrounds and Play Equipment
  • Provision of and maintenance of Street Lighting
  • Street cleansing
  • Statutory consultations on planning issues, working to influence Planning Authority decisions, based on Councillors local knowledge
  • Ensuring that the adopted Thurston Neighbourhood Development Plan reflects the shared vision for its neighbourhood  
  • Making representations to other local and national bodies, on issues that affect the local community
  • Working with the SaferNeighbourhood Team on policing in the village including the funding of a PCSO for Thurston
  • Managing a number of public open spaces
  • Working with the County Council on traffic matters
  • Engaging with other local Parish Councils on matters that affect us all.

Whilst there are limited powers to make decisions, Parish Councils do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions.