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Parish Council

The Parish Council is a corporate body and is granted its powers by Parliament, including raising money through council tax (the Precept). It represents the first tier of local government and has spending powers which it exercises to improve the quality of life and local environment of Stoke and its residents. The Parish Council also seeks to influence other decision-making bodies (principally the District and County Councils) on issues such as planning and delivers services to meet local needs.

What does the Parish Council do?

The principal topics with which the Parish Council concerns itself include community safety, housing, street lighting, allotments, cemetery, community open spaces, litter, the War Memorial, seats and shelters, Rights of Way and footpaths plus some involvement in planning, transport and highways. The Parish Council also provides financial support to local groups and organisations through its Grant policy in order to support their activities within the community.  

The Council has three Working Groups, Finance, Planning and HR which make recommendations to the full Council for approval.  The Finance Working Group oversees the Budget, procurement and the Risk Register & Management Plan.  The Planning Working Group examine each planning application in detail and keep up to date with the District Council’s Local Plan which sets out long term strategy for South Somerset in housing, employment etc.

Who are the Parish Council?

The Parish Council currently comprises 11 local volunteers who are elected for a 4-year term of office and who have a variety of responsibilities. Due to the elections being brought in line with the Unitary Authority elections the current term of office is 5 years and runs to May 2027. The Parish Clerk who is employed by the Parish Council attends meeting and records decisions taken and ensures that these are implemented. 

Each year at the Annual Parish Council meeting, the Parish Council elects a Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Councillors Lyn Foley and Owen Setter are the current Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively.

Parish Councillors

Name Responsibility

Denise Burton

Highways, HR, Planning, Play Inspection - Memorial Hall

Helen Essex

Lyn Foley

Chairman, Defibrillators, Finance, Highways, HR

Paul Goulder

Finance, Hamdon Youth Group, Highways, Planning

Richard Holder

Moira Hulett

Footpaths, Highways, Planning, Sports & Recreation Trust

Rebecca Merrick

Finance, Highways

Graham Middleton

Finance, Highways

Suzanne Nelms

Allotments - Stonehill, Friends of Ham Hill, Play Area Inspections - Stonehill

Michael Phillips

Owen Setter

Vice-Chairman, HR, Highways, Planning

When does the Council meet?

The Parish Council meets on the 1st Wednesday of every month in the Hamdon Youth & Family Centre at 7.00pm.  No meeting is held in August.   The Parish Clerk publishes agendas ahead of each meeting on the village notice boards (located in the Memorial Hall grounds, at the Co-op in East Stoke) and on this website and circulates matters for discussion to Councillors.  The Parish Clerk can be contacted by telephone and email Monday to Friday from 9.00am-5.00pm.

The Parish Council is a member of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and an affiliate of the Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC).