About the Parish Council
The Parish Council of Chalfont St. Peter is the democratic voice of Chalfont St. Peter. It is a locally elected body of Councillors who make decisions on the management and use of various assets owned and/or controlled by the residents of the village. They ensure that money allocated for local use through taxation is efficiently spent in the interests of the Village. The Parish Council also helps to channel any community concern regarding major developments to the correct authorities.
Chalfont St Peter’s Parish Council is made up of 15 councillors, elected every four years. The post is unpaid and councillors give their time on a voluntary basis. There are monthly full council meetings, which are open to the public, with time allowed for public comment.
In addition to the monthly meeting of the Full Council, there are five standing Committees which regularly meet to discuss and decide upon the various issues affecting the community – Amenities and Planning, Open Spaces, Finance, Human Resources and Communications and PR. Occasionally other Committees are set up to deal with important issues such as the Neighbourhood Plan in 2013. Apart from small scale planning applications, where the Committee has authority from Council to comment directly to the District Council, all Committees make their recommendations to the Full Council for final ratification
There has been a Parish Council in Chalfont St Peter since 1894 when Parish Councils were first given official powers by the then Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Since then, the village of Chalfont St. Peter has grown and is one of the largest Parishes in England. In 2006, the Parish Council moved from a single room in the Community Centre to its new offices next to the Football Club in Mill Meadow.
The Parish Council is the third tier of local government, after Buckinghamshire County Council and Chiltern District Council. It has designated legal powers, and is regulated by various acts. Along with the management responsibilities of the Open Spaces, other responsibilities of the Parish Council are listed below. Chiltern District Council is responsible for development control, environmental health, refuse collection, economic development, tourism and major recreational facilities, and Buckinghamshire County Council carries responsibilities for education, social services, all traffic management, road safety and highway maintenance, fire and rescue, libraries and strategic planning.
While Parish Councillors are volunteers, the Parish Council employs a team of 6 people: The Clerk, Deputy Clerk, Admin Assistant, Head Haywarden, Haywarden and Assistant Haywarden. Details of our Clerk and staff can be found here.
Open Spaces Responsibilities of the Parish Council
Along with those management responsibilities mentioned above, the Parish Council has responsibility for the following Open Spaces areas:
Mill Meadow is managed by The Parish Council under delegated powers from the District Council who own it. The land was originally bought by the District Council as public recreation ground. The Parish Council has a separate precept or budget from the District Council for managing this land, with the exception of the areas fenced off for the Football Club and Tennis Club who maintain their own land under direct leases with the District Council. The play area is now maintained by the Parish Council and the area between the Football and Tennis Clubs is used by the Middle School and a small area by junior teams from the Football Club.
The County Council has the statutory duty to keep these open but in an emergency the Parish Council will assist until BCC can take over.
Street lights, Beacon and Coronation Clock
The Parish Council owns approx 412 street lights (as opposed to the taller highways lights which are the responsibility of CDC) as well as the Coronation Clock at the top of Market Place and the Beacon at the top of Gold Hill Common. These are all maintained by the Parish Council who has a responsibility for repairing and painting them.
The Parish Council owns the planters outside the George and on the Broadway whilst also maintaining the plants in the planter outside Budgens supermarket and the two outside HSBC, which belong to Chiltern District Council.
The Parish Council owns two areas of land, one at the end of Church Lane, called Love’s Delight Allotments, and another off the A413, almost opposite the Tesco Express, called Hill House Allotments. Both are allocated as areas for growing vegetables and fruit. These can be rented by residents. To apply for an allotment, please click here
Garden of Rest
The Parish Council own the Denham Lane Garden of Rest Cemetry. The rules and regulations can be viewed here
This is used as recreation ground with children’s play area and community orchard.
Gold Hill and Austenwood Commons
There is a large area of Common land in Chalfont St Peter. About 33 acres in total are maintained under a 1913 management scheme. Both Commons (and the Gerrards Cross Commons) are owned by the Lord of the Manor, Mr. David Baldwin, who lives in Bourne End. He takes a keen interest in the Commons. The football pitch is used by the Gold Hill Baptist Church team and the Chalfont St Peter Softball team.
This old settlement which pre-dates Gerrards Cross was registered in 1965 as Common land with no owner. The County, District and Parish Councils therefore stand in as the owner by law and are responsible for the land. In practice, the Parish Council maintains the area.
Bus shelters and Seats
Bus shelters and seats are all owned and maintained by the Parish Council.
There are 5 notice boards maintained by the Parish Council to display notices of meetings and byelaws. These are located at The Precinct, Chalfont Common, at the top of Gold Hill Common, in Cheena Meadow and at Austenwood.
The garden, in the remains of the old river ford (watersplash) by the Greyhound, was built and is maintained by the Parish Council. The river is flowing more regularly now, thanks largely to the regular work of Misbourne River Action and less extraction upstream.
St. Peter’s Garden
This is an old Church graveyard on Church Lane which, whilst still consecrated ground, is now a public open space by permission of the Diocese.
The Parish owns one area of open land by the Hill House allotments consisting of about 5-6 acres. This is currently let to a horse grazier on an annual lease.
Millennium Wood Nature Reserve and Lady Gibb Millennium Wood
This new biodiversity reserve has been developed on an area of wild woodland and scrub. It is alongside the Millennium Woods, dedicated to Lady Gibb who gave the land to the village.