Parish Voice – a new community voice for the Isle of Wedmore
We are a growing group of like-minded parishioners who have joined forces to see how we can improve local democracy in our parish.
A number of us will be standing for election in the Parish Council elections on May 7th and, although we have a wide range of interests as well as professional skills and experience to bring to the Council, the one thing that we all have in common is a determination to improve the Parish Council’s openness and accountability to its own parishioners.
Each of us, if elected, will work tirelessly to improve dialogue and communication between Council and parishioners. Together, we shall ensure that as many channels as possible are open to enable us to listen to parishioners’ concerns and requirements on a regular basis.
We’d like to encourage enough parishioners with similar aims to join us and stand for the Parish Council elections on May 7th. It doesn’t matter whether you’re concerned about affordable housing, heavy lorries, the doctors’ surgery, solar farms, or the health risks to young children of dog poo on our pavements; if you believe in a more open local democracy, with dynamic 21st century technology and a can-do attitude to the parish’s challenges in facing the future, then we’d like to hear from you. Our aim is to have 16 candidates standing – one for each available seat on the Council. We already have about half that number committed to standing.
There will be an open public meeting in The Swan Club Room at 7pm on Tuesday 10th March. All are welcome – including current parish councillors thinking of standing again - as we want to hear as many voices as possible as we prepare for the election. So, do come along and have your say!
If you would like to stand as a candidate, or be one of our campaigners/supporters, or just find out more about what we believe in, contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or to register your interest in standing or supporting us.
21 January 2015
Here is the complete, if rather short and content-free, recent Parish Council meeting. It is not clear where and when the REAL discussion currently takes place. Certainly not in public.
17 December 2014
Here is the complete meeting:
19 November 2014
Here is the complete meeting:
15 October 2014
Wedmore Parish Council's meeting was recorded for the first time on 15 October 2014. Here is the complete meeting:
Openness and accountability
The national rules changed in August 2014 to make councils, including parish and town councils, more transparent and accountable to their local communities. Members of the public can use modern technology and communication tools to report on meetings they attend.
A Plain English Guide is available, giving practical information about what these new rules on openness mean, and how they apply to all the body’s committees, sub-committees and any joint committees involving two or more bodies.
Since October 2014 we have recorded and published on YouTube the Parish Council meetings. It would be fair to say that our Parish Council have been less than enthusiastic about this, as indeed have other old-fashioned parish councils around the country!
An example of what we could do
In 2002 Wedmore Parish Council initiated the Isle Of Wedmore Community Appraisal and Parish Action Plan. To date it is by far the most comprehensive research into how the Parishioners of Wedmore want our village to develop - and indeed one of the most comprehensive appraisals conducted anywhere in the country. But it needs updating.
In 2004 this Plan was formally adopted by the Parish Council. Why was it so important? Simply because, with 795 respondents in the Parish, it is statistically still the most robust analysis of what we all want that exists anywhere. But the Parish Council did nothing about it.
An exhibition of the Community Appraisal was held in Wedmore Village Hall and you can read the complete findings by clicking on the following link: