Parish councils (sometimes called town councils in larger areas) are democratically elected local authorities (and are nothing to do with the church despite what goes on in The Vicar of Dibley). They are the lowest tier of local authority in England. Next step up in this area is North Somerset Council. North Somerset Council looks after social services, highways and several other matters. Yatton Parish Council is an independent local authority and is in no way subordinate to or controlled by North Somerset Council.
Yatton Parish Council serves both Yatton and Claverham.
Yatton Parish Council has the 'general power of competence' which means (broadly speaking) that it can do anything that an individual can do. Yatton Parish Council currently does the following:
- comments on all planning applications for properties within the parish (there is more on how the planning system works here)
- maintains Glebelands (including the wildflower garden and the village green) and the Rock Road and Hangstones sports fields
- maintains Hangstones Pavilion including a hall and meeting room available for hire, more details here
- maintains a number of children’s play areas in Yatton and Claverham (but not Horsecastle play area which is the responsibility of North Somerset Council) and the skatepark on Hangstones field
- maintains the Yatton Burial Ground (but not St Mary's churchyard which is the responsibility of North Somerset Council)
- maintains the allotments in Mendip Road
- maintains the War Memorial gardens in Rock Road
- owns (jointly with Congresbury Parish Council) the top of Cadbury Hill including the Iron Age camp
- operates some (but not all) street lights
- provides and empties dog bins in Yatton and Claverham
- organises the Christmas lights
- pays for a youth worker in the parish, and pays the costs of staff at Yatton Youth Club
- makes grants to organisations working for the benefit of the community in Yatton and Claverham
- monitors public rights of way in the area
- comments generally on matters of concern in Yatton and Claverham such as road safety
- works with neighbouring parish councils on matters of common interest
Yatton Parish Council has been awarded a Quality Award under the Local Council Award Scheme. The Quality Award, which is awarded by an independent panel, demonstrates that a council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement. Quality councils go above and beyond their legal obligations, leading their communities and continuously seeking opportunities to improve and develop even further.
Parish councillors are elected at the same time, and in the same way, as North Somerset councillors. The last elections were on 2 May 2019. There are 18 seats on Yatton Parish Council. Parish councillors are unpaid and receive no allowance, although travelling and subsistence expenses are reimbursed and the Chairman can claim a small allowance for his expenses as Chairman. Contact details for all councillors are here
The Parish Council currently meets about every other month, normally in the evening. There are also committees of the Parish Council to handle the detail, and one committee in particular which comments on planning applications. They meet when convenient to members. All Council and committee meetings
are open to the public, although the public may be asked to leave when confidential business such as appointment of staff is being discussed. There is a short period near the beginning of every Council and committee meeting where members of the public can make statements or ask questions.
The Parish Council elects its own Chair (Jonathan Edwards elected January 2018) and a Vice-Chairman, currently Chris Jackson. Committees also elect a Chair's and Vice-Chairs.
The Parish Council is a member of Avon Local Councils Association and the National Association of Local Councils.
The Council has a small number of employees, headed by the Clerk, Aleana Baird. Aleana holds the Certificate in Local Council Administration, the recognised qualification for local council clerks. Aleana is assisted in the Parish Office by two part-time administrative staff, Jill Bradbury and Lucy Kehoe. The sports fields and other properties are maintained by our grounds men Jeff Shipway and Pete Moorman and there is a part-time village orderly, Clive Fletcher for Claverham.
The part time village orderly for Yatton is Eddie Kinsey.
The Parish Office, in Hangstones Pavilion, Stowey Road, Yatton, is open to the public between 10 and 12.30 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
The Parish Council's expenses are met by council tax payers in Yatton & Claverham. Your council tax bill includes an amount (called a 'precept') to meet the Parish Council's expenses. Details of how we have spent council tax payers' money are always available from the Clerk, and all payments over £500 are listed on our website.
Aleana Baird - Clerk to Yatton Parish Council