This is the official website of Pitton and Farley Parish Council. Our aim here is to make this layer of your local government, easy to understand, open and accessible. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please get in touch and we will try to help. You can use our contact page, or email us at members@pittonandfarley-pc.gov.uk.

If you are looking for social, sporting or similar events and news, then the community website may have what you are looking for. The community website is run by volunteers and on behalf of the community, but is not controlled by the Parish Council. You can find the community website at www.pittonandfarley.co.uk

Who we are and what we do

Government in the UK can be split, broadly, into central government and local government. Local government is split into up to three layers – county, district and parish councils (or civil parishes). Sometimes these three layers can be merged into a unitary authority. Here in our part of the Country we have Wiltshire Council (the county authority) and, Pitton and Farley Parish Council (the civil parish).

We have a range of powers, duties and responsibilities, including raising money through taxes, provision of village halls, maintenance of recreation grounds and parks, cleaning and drainage of ponds, control of litter, encouragement of tourism, etc. You can find more details about what we do in specific areas on this website.

What we spend and how we spend it

We raise money through through the “precept”. This is an additional amount added to your council tax bill, collected by the billing authority (Wiltshire Council) and passed to Pitton and Farley Parish Council to carry out our duties and responsibilities. As a government body, we have to account for every penny of income and expenditure. We are audited, and publish the audit results every year. In addition to this, we publish our budget plans showing details of our income, planned and actual spending. This budget is published on the website and updated regularly. Council Members are happy to discuss this budget with you, and welcome your views.

What our priorities are and how we are doing

We build our budget and plans based on our priorities. Each year we look at maintenance and renewal work as well as new projects. It is important that we get your views and thoughts on what is important to the community. Members of the public can raise issues at the start of any Council meeting. These are always minuted. In addition, we can be contacted through this website, through email, telephone or in writing. There are many ways for you to help us prioritise our work.

We publish updates in the form of minutes, news and reports.  All of this is available through this website, or on request to the Parish Clerk.

How we make decisions

We take decisions in a democratic, open and structured manner. We publish the timetable for meetings and welcome public input. We publish the agendas and minutes for all of our meetings, so you can see how a decision was reached. We use reports and consultation papers relevant to the decision, as well as regulations, bye-laws and of course, the opinion of the members of the community that we serve. Often, opinions and objectives will be in conflict, so we seek to arrive at effective solutions that provide the best benefit for the community as a whole.

Our policies and procedures

Our work is governed by a wide range of legislation, policy, procedure and protocol. We publish the core policies and procedures on this website, as well as referring to important pieces of legislation that create, control and guide our work. Our policies and procedures guide members on a whole range of subjects, from how we look after your personal data, how we ensure the health and safety aspects of staff, contractors and the general public, how we conduct ourselves in meetings to how we report financial status. The policies and procedures set out the standards that you can expect; if you feel that we fall short, please tell us.

Lists and Registers

We maintain and publish a number of lists and registers. These include an asset register, a disclosure log, a register of members’ interests and a register of gifts and hospitality. Our lists and registers are available for inspection and we endeavour to keep them up to date and published on this website. Certain information held in the registers may be redacted in the versions published online in order to protect the rights of individuals. Original versions can be made available on request.

The services we offer

There are about 10,000 Parish Councils in England and Wales, and the range of facilities and services that they can provide varies enormously, depending on their size. The possible activities range from such things as identifying land for allotments, providing bus shelters, noticeboards and benches, maintaining cemeteries, providing and maintaining children’s recreation areas, to providing public conveniences, maintaining war memorials and providing public baths and wash house, amongst many others.
Luckily, in this civil parish, the Parish Council does not have to deal with the more unusual facilities mentioned above. The Parish Council has more responsibilities in Pitton than in Farley, as the Parish Council owns the children’s play area and the land it stands on (The Close) and monitors the siphon that was built as part of Pitton’s flood defence system. It helps to drain the High Street in times of flood.
Wiltshire Council maintains the roads, cuts the grass verges and salts and grits the roads during the winter if necessary. The Parish Council is responsible for some grass cutting, the bus shelters, notice boards, benches, and some tree maintenance.
All Parish Councils depend for most of their income on the Parish Precept, which is part of the Council Tax. Only Parish Councils and Parliament have unlimited power to raise as much funding as is needed. Being acutely aware of this, councillors do their utmost not to raise unnecessary funds. Expenditure between the two villages is kept roughly in proportion with the income from each, although there is no fixed rule about this.
For many Parish Councils, the largest annual item of expenditure is the Clerk’s salary, which is extremely modest and complies with recommended local government pay scales. Luckily, the present Clerk is also a Clerk at other Councils, so that training costs can be shared, which is very helpful. Pitton & Farley Parish Councillors are unpaid volunteers who have chosen not to take an allowance. Out of pocket expenses are very low too.
Wiltshire Council operates an Area Board system, one of which covers the Southern Wiltshire area including Alderbury, Coombe Bisset, Downton, and Redlynch among others. This board meets every six weeks or so and is an important communications vehicle between Wiltshire Council and Parish Councils. It also has funds to allocate to deserving projects at parish level. If individuals or groups have funding needs they should in the first instance contact the Parish Council.
Local government elections are held every four years, during which existing and prospective councillors submit themselves for election. Should vacancies occur in between elections, a by-election is held to fill the vacancy providing ten electors request one. More usually, new councillors are co-opted.
The Parish Council has 9 Councillors, 5 from Pitton and 4 from Farley. The parish is warded only as far as planning matters are concerned. The Parish Council is a consultee in the first stage of the Planning consent process before the final decision is made by Wiltshire Council, the local Planning Authority. Discussion on all planning matters is made in public at advertised meetings.
The Parish Council works closely with the division’s Wiltshire Councillor, Chris Devine.
The positions of Chairman and Vice Chairman alternate between the two villages every two years, although this is not a hard and fast rule. The public is warmly welcome at all meetings, and there is an opportunity to speak, ask questions, or raise matters of concern before the formal meeting starts.