Cheddar has a Parish Council made up of 15 councillors who actually live in the parish, and make the grass-roots decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. They are unpaid volunteers who give their time and expertise in the interest of the community. It is the level of government closest to the community, with Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Councils above it in the hierarchy.
Parish Councillors are elected every four years, the last election was in 2015, when 11 councillors were elected and a further four co-opted through an interview process.
Parish councillors are people in the community who can offer guidance and support, and although the Parish Council in itself has limited powers, its local knowledge is extremely valuable. Hence it can influence the decisions of District and County councils regarding transport, housing, planning, healthcare, highways and open spaces, environmental matters and more. Cheddar Parish Council also helps to organise Festive Night each year.
An important power of the Parish Council is their ability to force a local planning application to go to the District Council Planning Committee for a ruling decision, rather than being decided by an individual Case Officer. If the Parish Council’s opinion differs from that of the assigned Case Officer, then the final decision will be made by Commitee. So if you have any concerns (or support) in relation to a local planning application, as well as making comments via the Planning Online system, you also need to inform the Parish Clerk or a councillor of your views.
Visit the Cheddar Parish Council web site to find out more information and to contact the Parish Clerk.