- Aims and Objectives
- Parish Council Meetings
- Parish Council Notices
- Planning Committee
- Finance Committee
- Welcome Pack for new residents
- The Pump Garden
- Grass Cutting - Verges and Open Spaces
- Parish Recycling Warden
- Parish Tree Warden
- Parish Paths Warden
- Problems with Roads / Highways
- More Information on Council Services
- 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 this website and on the Parish Council notice boards around the village. There are three notice boards, one fixed to the outside wall of the Reading Room (20 Church Street), another in Wappenham Road at the junction with Field Way (The Square) and the third beside the post box near The Green.
Items are usually displayed on each board but where something has to legally be displayed, and only one copy is available, then this will be displayed on the noticeboard near The Green.
Organisations wishing to have notices displayed are asked to keep the size of them to a minimum (ideally A5) to allow room. Three copies of each notice should be dropped round to John Coatsworth, Cllr Thorpe (The Old Post Office Station Road) or Cllr Wheeler (25 Church Street) well in advance of any event/deadline.
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 West Northants 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 West Northants Council.
A summary of Councillor Responsibilities (together with copies of recent financial audits) can be found on the Finance & Audit page. Details for each Councillor can also be found on the Who We Are... page.
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.
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.
Grass Cutting - Verges and Open Spaces
We receive many comments about grass cutting in the village. The Parish Council is responsible for:
- part of the School Field used as the Play Area,
- area alongside Wappenham Road known locally as Jenners Piece,
- area in front of the Reading Room,
- area around the War Memorial
For details of grass cutting of these areas, and other open areas of the village, please see Verge Maintenance.
Parish Tree Warden
West Northants Council runs a Tree Warden Scheme. In 2011 Helmdon Parish Council appointed a Tree Warden to help look after, monitor and record the trees in the parish. Helmdon's Tree Warden is Mike Birchall; if you have any questions, comments or concerns please get in touch with him.
For more information about the Jubilee Wood in Helmdon please see the Woodlands page.
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 West Northants 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.
For more information about walks around Helmdon please see Footpaths and Walking Groups.
Problems with Roads / Highways
To report a problem with Roads / Highways please visit West Northants' Street Doctor / Fix my Street. Use this service to report faults such as hazardous pavements, potholes and flooded drainage gullies. Problems are given a reference number to permit you to track progress / action taken.
For an EMERGENCY problem, do not complete the online form. Instead, use the phone numbers shown when you click "Report or track a highway problem" (on the Street Doctor / Fix my Street page).
More Information on Council Services
If you are looking for more information on Council Services, please use the A-Z of Services facility. This covers Parish Council and West Northants Council services. To display only Parish Council services please click here.
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.