The Parish Council
Farnham Royal Parish Council is made up of 11 councillors, all independent, elected every four years. If a vacancy occurs during a term then (if a poll is not called within a statutory period) the remaining councillors can co-opt new members to fill a vacancy. The post is unpaid and councillors give their time on a voluntary basis. There are 10 Council meetings each year, which are open to the public, with time allowed for public comment. A variety of parish issues are discussed but there is much that is done outside the meetings in working groups.
The responsibilities of the Parish Council include:
- Planning issues (although it can only comment and raise objections -it has no power to take decisions on planning matters);
- Maintaining open spaces within the villages;
- Street lighting (over 200 lamp standards come under the parish council’s remit);
- Public footpaths, public toilets, litter, bus shelters and benches.
Many of the initiatives to improve life in the villages are also due to the Council – for example, the flowers and Christmas lighting as well as Carols at The Dell.
The Council also works closely with Buckinghamshire Council with regard to environmental issues, traffic management, road safety and highway maintenance; and the Police with regard to neighbourhood policing.
Roles for Councillors only
Paul Rowley (Chair)
Representatives on Outside Bodies
Farnham Royal Charities – Paul Rowley and Marilyn Rolfe
Beeches Community Board (Wellbeing)– Paul Rowley
Beeches community Board (Highways & Infrastructure) – Marilyn Rolfe
Beeches Community Board (Environment) – Jenny Quilter
Farnham Common Sports Club – Paul Rowley and Jigar Trivedi
Farnhams Magazine – Paul Rowley
Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common Consultation Group – Jenny Quilter
South Bucks Association of Local Councils – Paul Rowley and Marilyn Rolfe
East Burnham Gravel Liaison Group – Vacant
Buckinghamshire Council Rights of Way Liaison Group – Bob Milne
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Paul Rowley and David Moore
Signage Manager – Vacant
Data Protection Officer – David Moore
Roles taken by Councillors on Council working groups
Planning Working Group
Marilyn Rolfe (Chair)
Projects Working Group
Jenny Quilter (Chair)
All parish councillors are members of this committee
Contracts Working Group
Richard Thomas (Chair)
Farnham Common and Farnham Royal
The parish of Farnham Royal includes Farnham Common – and locally they are known as The Farnhams.
Parish Councils are relatively recent. Until 1894 the affairs of the parish were administered by vestry meetings held monthly in the church after Sunday morning service.
Originally they were responsible for the appointment of the village constable, the repair of the roads, the welfare of the poor, and the church. After several legislative changes the Local Government Act of 1894 introduced parish councils which have remained largely the same since that time. The aim was to give everyone who paid domestic rates a voice in the election of parish councillors and benefit from the decisions taken.
Whilst the Parish Council looked after the civil side of the parish affairs the ecclesiastical matters were handled by the parochial church council.
The first meeting of Farnham Royal Parish Council took place in the school in Church Road with an attendance of over 100 residents. Looking back over the minutes over the last century the issues raised are not too different from today including water, mains drainage, postal deliveries, motor traffic, road safety, mineral extraction and open spaces.
1894 – 1916 F C Carr Gomm (Served on Council for over 20 years)
1916 – 1943 A F Drew (Served on Council for over 25 years)
1943 – 1947 T Harvey Hull
1947 – 1950 T A Scott
1950 – 1955 R Lund (Served on Council for nearly 50 years)
1955 – 1969 J Hartley (Served on Council for over 20 years)
1969 – 1970 C M R Peecock
1970 – 1975 P N Janes (Served on Council for over 30 years)
1975 – 1979 W F Foulds (Served on Council for over 20 years)
1979 – 1982 M G M Fordyce
1982 – 1987 P Ripley
1987 – 1999 D Stewart (Served on Council for over 20 years)
1999 – 2003 W F Foulds
2003 – 2007 P J Cathcart (Served on Council for over 20 years)
2007 – 2008 W F Foulds
2008 – 2012 P J Cathcart
2012 – 2015 W A Youel
2015 – 2018 T S Clapp
2018 – P E Rowley