- Aims and Objectives
- Parish Council Meetings
- Parish Council Notices
- Planning Committee
- Finance Committee
- Welcome Pack for new residents
- Reporting Highways problems - The Street Doctor
- The Pump Garden
- Grass Cutting - Verges and Open Spaces
- Parish Tree Warden
- Parish Paths Warden
- Comments and Suggestions
The Aims and Objectives of the Council
The aims of Helmdon Parish Council are:
|•||To provide an effective, transparent and accountable local Government and to be a strong voice for residents and local businesses.|
|•||To retain the existing character and community spirit of the village whilst encouraging the development of a strong, inclusive and vibrant community.|
|•||To preserve and enhance the rural, built and natural environments of Helmdon.|
The objectives for Helmdon Parish Council are:
|•||To understand and communicate the views, needs and aspirations of residents to statutory and non-governmental bodies as required.|
|•||To manage the council's assets and finances effectively and in accordance with statutory requirements.|
|•||To provide, maintain and improve play equipment, allotments and public green spaces.|
|•||To support the work of village groups and organisations through grants and practical support.|
|•||To respond to planning applications and other statutory consultations on time, ensuring that recommendations adhere to statutory regulations and the interests of the community.|
|•||To ensure that Councillors and Staff have access to high quality training and development opportunities and that Councillors and Staff meet all required standards.|
|•||To keep informed of changes to legislation and ensure that procedures and Parish Council policies are reviewed and revised in line with such changes.|
Parish Council Meetings
The Parish Council currently meets on the fourth Wednesday of alternate months in the Reading Room. The Annual Parish Meeting is held in April and the annual parish council meeting is held in May. An Open Forum, where members of the public are invited to attend and put forward items for discussion or debate, is placed on the agenda of each Parish Council meeting. This is a commitment that the Parish Council is under no obligation to provide but which it does in order to make the Parish Council more open, responsive and receptive to parishioners' views. We would hope that any parishioner would feel welcome at a Parish Council meeting and would respect that the Council does have business to deal with, during which time public debates are not permitted. All Parish Council meetings are open to members of the public and press.
All the Parish Councillors have signed up to a Code of Conduct, which covers most aspects of interests and responsibilities. For any questions relating to the Code of Conduct please contact the Parish Clerk.
Parish Council Notices
Any items of interest to parishioners, along with agendas and other documents for public display are displayed on www.helmdon.com and on a special area reserved on the notice boards of the village for parish council matters. Any other item should be positioned on the remaining part of the notice board.
There are currently three notice boards, one fixed to the wall of the Reading Room in Church Street, another in Wappenham Road at the junction with Field Way (The Square) and the third one beside the telephone kiosk on The Green.
Items are usually displayed on each of the boards but where something has to legally be displayed and only one copy is available the notice board that would be used is the larger one of the three, the one on the Green.
Organisations wishing to have notices displayed are asked to keep the size of them to a minimum to allow room for all the notices - they should try to keep them to A5 size. Notices should be given to the Parish Clerk for display on the noticeboards on The Green and the Square.
The website has a virtual village noticeboard on which a lot of notices go for which there is not room on the real noticeboards.
The Planning Committee meets when there is an application to be considered. It meets in the Reading Room and the agendas are displayed beforehand. The Planning Committee does not have the power to determine a planning application, it makes comments of support or objection to South Northamptonshire Council, which is the Local Planning Authority. The Parish Council, while being available to listen to residents' concerns for or against an application, would urge all parishioners to make their views known directly to the Planning Department of South Northamptonshire Council (www.southnorthants.gov.uk).
Welcome Pack for New Residents
The Parish Council cordially welcomes new residents to the village with a welcome pack containing a list of local businesses, leaflets with information on parish walks, etc., which hopefully answers initial questions and helps orientate new residents. Other information can be obtained from the Parish Clerk.
Reporting Highways Problems - The Street Doctor
Telephone 0800 232323 or 0845 601 1113
Use this service to report Highway faults such as broken streetlights, hazardous pavements, potholes and flooded gullies. (If a streetlight is not working properly, it should be reported in the first instance to the Parish Clerk.)
You can also report Highway problems online at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk
If the problem you want to report is either an emergency or requires urgent attention DO NOT use the online service. Please telephone 0800 232323 or 0845 601 1113.
On-line reporting allows you to tell the County Council about a Highway problem directly and to see what they are doing about it. Please note this service requires pop-ups and scripting enabled in your web browser.
• You can tell them where the problem is, either by describing its location, or by using a map that covers almost every street in Northamptonshire.
• Many different type of Highway problem can be reported on-line - e.g. potholes and faulty street lights.
• Every report that they receive is allocated a unique reference number.
• The action that they decide to take will be recorded against your problem's unique reference number, so that you can check how thing are going, day or night, to suit you.
They aim to have a first response available for you, to check back on to see what is happening, within 5 working days.
To report anything to Helmdon Parish Council please contact the Parish Clerk.
Rent for a Council allotment is currently £25 a year with the first year free. If you are interested please contact the Parish Clerk. All applications are treated on a first come, first served basis.
The Pump Garden
The Parish Council owns a small piece of land on Church Street just up from Shortlands Close known locally as the Pump Garden because it is where one of the village's three public water pumps was sited. The pump is still there but not operable. For the Queen's Jubilee in 2002 the Parish Council installed a bench at the Pump Garden for walkers to stop at on their way up Church Street. In 2012 the area was cut right back to allow new planting to take place in spring 2013 (see before and after photos here). In 2017, a ramp was added to assist those less mobile to access the bench.
We receive many comments about grass cutting in the village. The Parish Council is not responsible for all the open areas of the village. Roadside verges are cut by a contractor employed by the County Council. It is usual for verges to be cut three or four times a year. While we appreciate that this can sometimes make visibility difficult at times, particularly during a wet summer, there is nothing we can do about the timing of these cuts. South Northants Council cuts the areas of grass belonging to them, at Station Road and in front of the Green, these areas are usually cut well back during the summer months. The Parish Council awards a contract for cutting the areas of the school field used as the play area and also the area alongside Wappenham Road known locally as Jenners Piece. For the current year we have budgeted for four cuts being undertaken in these areas. Also maintained by the Parish Council is the War Memorial and the area in front of the Reading Room. The War Memorial itself has recently been refurbished. If anybody is interested in helping to maintain these areas, perhaps by dead heading the roses or weeding around the flowers it would always be appreciated, please contact the clerk beforehand. The school field and bank around the school is cut by another contractor employed by the County Council.
Parish Tree Warden
In 2011 the parish council appointed a Tree Warden to help look after, monitor and record the trees in the parish. Northamptonshire County Council runs the Tree Warden Scheme. Helmdon's Tree Warden is Phillip Ward; if you have any questions, comments or concerns please get in touch with him.
Parish Paths Warden
One of the oldest offices held by the parish council, the Parish Paths Warden is responsible for liaising between the path network users and the County Council who are responsible for the upkeep of the paths. Helmdon's Parish Paths Warden is Roger Miles. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please get in touch with him.
Comments and Suggestions
If any Helmdon resident has a contribution to make towards the running of the village, comments and suggestions are always welcomed by the Parish Clerk or the elected Councillors.