Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 402 May 2018

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A close up of a bird

The formation of Parish Councils

Civil parish councils were formed in England under the reforming Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. The act created two new types of local authority, parish councils and rural district councils to rationalise the large number of bodies which existed for a variety of activities such as public health, secular burials, water supply and drainage. It also finally removed secular duties from the local Vestry committees and gave them to the new parish councils.

Prior to 1894 both Sibford Gower and Sibford Ferris had separate Vestry meetings which were held at least once every year. Following the Local Government Act of 1894 Sibford Gower and Burdrop accepted a sealed order from the County Council to form a Parish Council comprising five elected Parish Councilors. The Parish Council for Sibford Gower and Burdrop celebrated its centenary in 1994 by holding a party in the Village Hall when the original Minute Book was displayed having been borrowed for the occasion from the Oxford Records Office.

Sibford Ferris however did not form a Parish Council at this time but continued as a Parish Meeting holding meetings as necessary but at least once a year to consider village matters. It was not until 1964 that a sealed order from Oxfordshire County Council cited the establishment of Sibford Ferris Council comprising five elected parish councilors to comply with the provisions of the Local Government Elections Act 1956. The first Chairman was Mr E C Flinn with Miss A Viney and Messrs JW Canning, A B Horn and J A Fielding serving as the remaining new parish councilors.

Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.