Long Ashton Parish Council was established in 1894 and so is one of the longest established Parish Councils in the country. The Council consists of 21 Councillors who are all volunteers and are elected for a four year term of office. The Council employs a Clerk to implement policy decisions. Parish Councils are the lowest tier of local government and are not connected with any church.
The Council declared a climate emergency on the 9th September 2019 and modified the declaration on the 25th November to include the ecological emergency - the amended declaration reads
“This council recognises the climate and ecological emergency that exists,
and pledges to do whatever is in its power to make the civil parish of Long
Ashton carbon neutral by 2030. To facilitate this, we will:
· Initiate and support a forum where Councillors and stakeholders can agree changes to the Council and community that help us to meet this goal.
· Place the “Climate Emergency” on the agenda of future council meetings, so that we can regularly consider all recommendations from the forum and review our progress.
· Actively support NSC’s climate change strategy and work with neighbouring Parish Councils and government departments where appropriate."
The Parish Council protects and promotes our community and also provides local services:
- The burial ground and closed churchyard at All Saints Church (Click to see an information leaflet about the Burial Ground and the list of fees.)
- The Village Hall, Playground and Recreation Ground at Keedwell Hill *
- Birdwell Recreation Ground
- Bus shelters
- Footpaths and bridleways
- Roadside verges
- Litter and dog bins - click here to see a map showing the location of the dog bins.
*Long Ashton Community Association (a registered charity) manages the Keedwell Hill complex and receives an annual grant from the Parish Council for this purpose.
The Parish Council is responsible for the preparation of its annual budget, control of its finances and setting the level of precept. The council tax for Long Ashton (the Parish Precept) is collected by North Somerset Council on behalf of the Parish Council and is £188,000 (2020/21).
Protecting the village
As well as these statutory services, the Parish Council represents the views of the residents. We are consulted about all planning applications and make our recommendations to North Somerset Council. We are always interested to receive a copy of your comments on any planning application, although these should also be made directly to North Somerset Council in every case.
We are consulted on a wide variety of topics that affect the village, such as:
- Health services
- Traffic and transport
- Planning guidance
- Environmental concerns
- North Somerset Council strategic plans
- Bristol Airport
There have been a number of community safety initiatives encouraged by the Parish Council, to which you contribute through your Council Tax, for example: lighting on the Rec, the zebra crossing outside the Co-op, CCTV at the Village Hall, the Youth Shelter, traffic calming measures and ongoing liaison with our local police beat team.
Promoting the area
Of particular importance is our role in promoting the area and its organisations. Long Ashton and Leigh Woods are thriving communities and we want to be sure that all residents know what is available. The Parish Council publishes a newsletter 3 times a year and this is delivered free to every household.
If you have any information which you think will be helpful to the rest of the village, please send your copy to the Parish Clerk. The newsletter deadlines are 1st February, 1st June and 1st October each year. We are also glad to receive photographs for the front cover.
We have encouraged initiatives to make Long Ashton look more attractive, including the bank at Arch Close and information boards at each end of the village. Do you have any more ideas that we could consider?
Long Ashton Parish Council's public liability insurance is provided by Zurich Municipal.
PARISH COUNCIL STAFF
In Long Ashton PC the clerk is the Proper Officer of the council, the Responsible Financial Officer and line manager to all other staff. The clerk carries out the statutory functions of the Proper Officer, prepares and issues public notices, the summons to Councillors and agendas and prepares the draft minutes and
· with the chairman, ensures the council makes legal decisions, acts within the law and that effective meetings are held.
· Provides the council with the appropriate, independent and objective information it needs to make effective decisions.
· Gives advice and implements policy.
· Implements the council’s decisions.
· Manages the council’s resources in an efficient and effective manner.
· Provides the council with administrative support, keeping records, dealing with correspondence, writing letters and reports, managing elections and casual vacancies, managing property and also projects.
· Represents the council when dealing with the media, the public or other organisations.
· Prepares financial reports to the Finance Committee and Council.
· Prepares draft annual budget and monitors it during the year.
· Carries out the payroll.
· Prepares and balance final accounts and produce accounts and records for external audit in accordance with the current Audit and Accounts Regulations.
· Undertakes internal audits of all aspects of the Council’s financial affairs and monitors compliance with the Council’s Financial Regulations.
The Assistant Clerk
The main responsibility of the assistant clerk is to take the minutes during Council and Committee meetings, to type them up following the meeting and to provide administrative support to the Clerk. This involves a variety of tasks such as filing, preparation of documents, data entry etc. The assistant clerk provides some cover for the clerk in their absence.
This role is shared between two members of staff. The general remit is to keep the villages looking clean and tidy. To achieve this they litter pick in Leigh Woods and Long Ashton, maintain the supply of dog waste bags by the bins, check on the grit bins, make sure the notice boards, bus shelters, seats are tidy and in good condition and look out for overgrowing vegetation.
Burial Ground Gardener
The Gardener keeps the burial ground looking good by maintaining the beds, borders and Polish memorial garden, removing dog waste, disposing of dead flowers and tributes, keeping bushes and shrubs trimmed and the paths clear and weed free as much as possible. The gardener also looks after the traffic islands where Long Ashton Road meets Clarken Combe.
At the grass roots level of local government, it is vital that the Parish Council is closely connected with all the communities we aim to serve. For this reason, the Parish Council now employs a part-time Community Engagement Officer who's role is strengthen our links with local groups and communities.
Contact the Community Engagement Officer:
Phone: 07376 145798
If you would like any more information about the Parish Council or would be interested in becoming a Councillor (when a vacancy occurs) or volunteering, please contact the Parish Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org