Welcome to our Sibford Gower Parish Council (SGPC) Home Page.
You should find all you need to know about our Parish Council here, under the following headings:
- Who we are and what we do
- What we spend and how we spend it
- What our priorities are and how we are doing
- How we make decisions
- Our policies and procedures
- Lists and registers
- The services we offer.
1. Who we are and what we do
Sibford Gower Parish Council consists of 5 elected members from our local Community of Sibford Gower & Burdrop, who each serve as Parish Councillors for a period of 4 years. The next election of the full Council will be in May 2022. If, for any reason, a Councillor cannot serve their full term, the remaining Councillors have the power to co-opt a replacement Councillor to serve until the next full election.
Parish Councillors are non-party political and are not paid for Parish Council work.
A Chair and Vice Chair are appointed annually.
The Parish Council employs a Parish Clerk to carry out the day-to-day business of the Council. The Clerk advises the Council on correct procedure, but has no vote at Council meetings.
The current members of the Sibford Gower Parish Council are:
Our Parish Clerk is Kirsty Buttle (01295 275 372) who is our primary point of contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal profiles of our Parish Councillors and our Parish Clerk can be found on Our New SGPC Team page.
The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO), appointed by the Council to administer the Council’s finances, is our Parish Clerk.
Sibford Gower Parish Council holds 3 types of Ordinary Meetings:
- Annual Parish Meeting … is an open meeting, usually held in April or May, which seeks feedback from the Community, and helps to steer the Parish Council’s agenda for the coming year
- Parish Council Meetings … are open meetings, held 4 times per year, to conduct the regular business of the Parish Council, and to encourage Community participation
- Planning Committee Meetings … are only held when planning timescales prevent discussion at a regular Parish Council Meeting.
Agendas, minutes and other papers for all the above meetings can be found on our SGPC Meeting Archive page.
Details of our upcoming meetings can be found in The Sibfords Village Calendar on this website.
2. What we spend and how we spend it
The Parish Council is financed by a Precept which is a local tax on the residents of the Sibford Gower & Burdrop Parish, and is collected by Cherwell District Council as part of the Council Tax. The amount of the Precept is decided annually by the Parish Council.
In the Autumn of each year, the Parish Council estimates likely income and expenditure for the coming financial year (1st April to 31st March) and develops a draft Budget. The draft budget is discussed and approved at a Parish Council Meeting in December or January, and our Precept submission to Cherwell District Council is then based on the approved Budget.
Financial progress against our approved Budget, including delegated banking activity, is reviewed at each Parish Council Meeting.
Financial management is governed by the Parish Council’s Financial Regulations which are reviewed annually.
The main items of Parish Council expenditure are:
Sibford Gower Parish Council currently has 3 Supplier Contracts:
Along with most other Parish Councils, we do not pay any salaries, allowances or expenses to Parish Councillors.
3. What our priorities are and how we are doing
As an arm of local government we work closely with and provide a direct link to Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council. A number of our responsibilities relate to our obligations to them – for example in the exercise of their planning functions or the maintenance of the village’s burial ground – and are defined in the terms of reference provided for us in the 1972 Local Government Act. But within that framework we hold ourselves accountable to our local electorate, the villagers of our community.
We do that formally once a year in the Annual Parish Council Meeting, but we would like to think we do that more informally at every Open Meeting – a forum where we would like to feel villagers from Sibford Gower and Burdrop are welcome to come together to talk over matters of common concern or shared interest.
Ultimately we take responsibility for the decisions made by the Council in the light of these conversations, but they have served not only to inform our decision-making and influence our priorities for the coming year but in their own right have often become the source of many initiatives led by villagers themselves.
The provision in the 1972 Local Government Act for an Annual Parish Meeting which takes place in the same part of the year is actually not a council-led meeting but is an opportunity nevertheless for the parish’s councillors to get a measure of the community’s interests, concerns and aspirations – and to find out how we are doing as a Council.
On May 9th 2019, for the first time in their separate histories, the councils of the two Sibford parishes, Ferris and Gower came together to host the Annual Parish Meeting as a shared celebration of our combined Sibfords community. It was a memorable occasion and accounts of the meeting may be found in this news item and in the official minutes.
4. How we make decisions
As far as possible, all Parish Council decision-making is carried out in public, at Parish Council Meetings. These open meetings are held 4 times per year, and are advertised on the SGPC Notice Board, and on this website in The Sibfords Village Calendar.
Members of the public may attend Parish Council Meetings, but have no legal right to speak. In practice the Sibford Gower Parish Council actively encourages participation, and our Chair invites questions and discussion at appropriate times, subject only to maintaining order and reasonable timekeeping.
By law, the Parish Council may only make decisions (especially those involving expenditure) on matters that have been itemised in the meeting agenda, which must be published on the SGPC Notice Board and on this website three clear days before the meeting. To propose a topic for a meeting agenda, please contact our Parish Clerk or a Councillor in good time.
Agendas, reports and minutes of meetings are published in the SGPC Meeting Archive.
Planning Committee Meetings are conducted in the same way as Parish Council Meetings, and all Council responses to planning applications are published on the Cherwell District Council website.
Whenever appropriate, the Council establishes informal Working Groups to research, review and recommend future policy or procedure to the full Council, eg for the development of a draft Budget for the coming year; for the streamlining of our Planning procedures; for our inclusivenes and celebratory aspirations for our Annual Parish Meetings.
5. Our policies and procedures
The rules and guidelines we observe in conducting Parish Council business are laid down in our Standing Orders.
Members of the Parish Council all undertake to follow our Code of Conduct which is based on that published by Cherwell District Council.
Planning matters are discussed at Parish Council Meetings, and at Planning Committee Meetings, in accordance with our Planning Committee Terms of Reference.
The new Sibford Gower Parish Council will be undertaking a full review of all our Policies & Procedures over the coming year, aimed at balancing National and County best practice with simplicity and appropriateness to scale. Revised documents will be published on this website once approved and signed off by the full Council.
6. Lists and registers
Our Asset Register lists all assets owned and maintained by the Sibford Gower Parish Council.
All our Parish Councillors are required to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (DPI) which others might reasonably consider to influence their words or actions as a member of the Parish Council. Each Councillor must make a declaration on appointment, and subsequently update their declaration, if and when a new DPI arises. These declarations are recorded in a Register of Members’ Interests maintained by the Monitoring Officer at Cherwell District Council, and they can be viewed on CDC’s website, by clicking on each Councillor’s name.
7. The services we offer
Sibford Gower Parish Council manages the following services to the Community:
Any other questions?
The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a Publication Scheme, and to publish information covered by the scheme.
This Home Page follows the Model Publication Scheme for public authorities published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and contains links to relevant documents that we publish under this scheme.
The new Sibford Gower Parish Council aims over time to improve our website, and to add further relevant information but, if you have any suggestions for information you would like to see published, please let us know via our Parish Clerk.