Council Information

An independent Parish Council for Ashmansworth was founded in 1894.

One of the main roles of Ashmansworth Parish Council is to give guidance on planning applications to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.  It also looks after the recreation ground and provides a forum to discuss issues of local interest, as well as supporting initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch.  It aims to provide a focus of interest and information for all parish residents.

Historically, prior to 1894 powers and duties in the community were administered by churchwardens and overseers of the poor but, with the introduction of the Local Government Act of 1894, parish councils became the first level of local government.

Parish councils are non-political and their remit is to maintain, develop and improve the local environment and facilities in such a way that satisfies the wishes of their electorate.  This means that they get involved, for example, in planning, highways, traffic, rights of way - in fact anything that affects or might affect parish life.

The Local Government Act 1972 is the one most often referred to when describing the modern powers and responsibilities of parish councils but this is augmented by many earlier and later Acts, such as The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which gave the ability to pay for measures to combat crime and the fear of crime in parishes.

Parish councils can only spend public money on projects for which they have a statutory power.  There are, just as there was back in 1894, only two powers which a parish council must consider using; if asked for: to provide allotments for the labouring poor; where the Home Office closes an existing site, such as a full churchyard, to provide alternative burial grounds.  All other powers are voluntary and parish councils are not obliged to exercise them, nor would they be likely to be able to raise enough money to exercise them all on an ongoing basis!