Introduction

Welcome to Horam Parish Council

A Parish Council is the first and smallest tier or layer in local government. In our area, the next layer is Wealden District Council. The third (top) tier is East Sussex County Council. All of these councils have elected Councillors. A parish is a type of English local government unit, going back for centuries. We have nothing officially to do with the Parish Church. Links with the church were severed by the Local Government Act of 1894. An “ecclesiastical” (church) parish may not necessarily have the same boundary as our “civil” parish. The Clerk can be contacted by email: or by telephone on 07900 576236.

What do we do?

HPC has a statutory right to be consulted by the District Council about Planning Applications (mainly land and property developments), and it is expected to represent the interests of the Parish by supporting, making comments or objecting to all or part of formal applications. In addition HPC considers many other things, which concern local residents, such as traffic and road safety, litter and pavements. HPC provides roadside seats, and is also able to provide other items such as bus shelters. It makes grants of money to deserving local organisations (usually charitable bodies) – a playgroup, for example, where it is expected that the life and welfare of local people will be improved.

Horam Parish Council is a democratic body. It listens to and puts forward the opinions and comments of local residents on a wide variety of matters. Parishioners are always very welcome to attend meetings.

All Council meetings, in which a short time slot is given for the public to speak on any matter on the Agenda, are held in The Horam Centre. For directions and information about forthcoming meetings please contact the Clerk, check the details posted on our notice board in the High Street or check this website.

How much are we paid?

Our parish councillors give their time free of charge. The only paid person is the Clerk who receives an annual income and allowance towards expenses. The Clerk is an “office holder” and is the only person who is appointed, not elected. Exceptional costs and expenses can be reimbursed to Councillors, but most of them do not claim expenses, and even if they do make a claim, it would not normally include meals and refreshments except possibly (and rarely) if the councillor had to attend a conference or if the Council is providing hospitality for visitors on council business.

Who is on the Council?

The councillors come from various walks of life. All are volunteers. See their details in “Meet the Councillors” below. Parish Councils often seem to consist of older people, but this is mainly because not enough younger people put themselves forward for election. Being an effective councillor does take up a lot of time, and this could be why you sometimes see retired people on a Council.

How do I get on to the Council?

An ordinary election is held every four years. To qualify as a candidate for election, you must be at least 18 years old when you are nominated as a candidate and on the day of the election, a British subject, a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen from another member state of the European Union, an elector for the area, or during the whole of the 12 months before you were nominated as a candidate, you have either occupied land as tenant or owner in the parish, or resided in the parish or within 3 miles of it, or had your principal or only place of work in the parish. If you qualify as a candidate, you might be able to fill a vacancy if one arises between elections. Vacancies are notified to the public when they occur. Please contact the Clerk for further information. Information for electors and prospective councillors may also be available from the Electoral Registration Officer at the District Council.

Where can I find out more about local councils?

Try the National Association of Local Councils, who publishes a guidebook on the powers and constitution of local councils.

Where is Horam Parish Council’s office?

Horam is lucky enough to be able to hire The Horam Centre for three mornings a week. It also hires The Horam Centre for all meetings throughout the year. The Clerk is at the desk in The Horam Centre each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning, working on correspondence, on writing Minutes and keeping the accounts whilst there. The office telephone number is 01435 812151.

The main meetings of the full Council (open to the public) are held in the Horam Centre, High Street, Horam. Planning Applications sent by District Council for consideration by HPC are discussed by a committee which also meets in the Horam Centre, High Street, Horam. Please see our Parish Council section, next meetings on this site or contact the Clerk for the latest information about forthcoming meetings or see the public noticeboard in Horam High Street.

Where does the Council’s money come from?

Each year the Parish Council asks for a sum of money, called a ‘precept’, which is added to the figures requested by the county council, the police, fire authority and the district council and is then collected by the district council through your council tax. This money is used by the parish council to improve facilities and services for local people and run the Council.

If more money is needed in future years, the Parish Council could apply for a bigger precept, grants or loans, but a very good reason for an increase would have to be given with the application.

Parish Council Newsletter

At present the Council have decided that a monthly update in the Village Diary would suit local residents better.

Members Register of Interests

The National rules require your council to have a register of members interests. Horam Parish Council’s register is maintained by Wealden District Council and can be inspected on their website – www.wealden.gov.uk  and follow their links to parish councils.