Good News! Your parish councillors received a written statement from Stroud District Council yesterday concerning the legal status of the new council.
Hunts Grove Parish Council is alive and has its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the next few weeks.
As soon as we have confirmation of time and access arrangements (it will be a zoom meeting), we will post on the HGRA website and facebook page.
Parish Councillors & Hardwicke Parish Council
There are currently four Hardwicke Parish Councillors residing in Hunts Grove, Demelza Turner-Wilkes, Darren Morris, Adam Hampson and Mark Ryder. All four are councillors with Hardwicke Parish Council. Since May 2020, Hunts Grove business has not been discussed at Hardwicke Parish Council and that separation has now been confirmed. This means that the four currently remain as Parish Councillors (of Hardwicke, not Hunts Grove).
Understanding The Legal Situation & Impact of Coronavirus
Parish Councillors have been pushing for confirmation of the legal and financial status of the new parish council since March 2020. Naturally, Coronavirus has created a great deal of disruption and unprecedented situations. The new parish council was legally created back in January, with elections planned for May 2020. Due to Coronavirus, elections were cancelled, therefore no parish councillors could stand for the new council. The implications of that situation required guidance from central government Cabinet Office, plus legal experts at the District Council. This was available only at the end of June and confirmed by the District Council yesterday. A copy of that written statement is included below for reference.
A Parish Council With No Councillors?
Prospective Parish Councillors will not now be able to stand for Hunts Grove until the revised election in May 2021. Until that time, transitional arrangements are that representatives from your District and County Councillors will represent Hunts Grove, namely Cllr Gill Oxley, Cllr Dave Mossman, Cllr Stephen Davies and Cllr Tom Skinner. It is understood that there will be a Parish Council web page and contact details published shortly. HGRA will update via the website and Facebook page as soon as these details are known.
The Financial Status
Prior to Coronavirus taking hold, 2020-2021 council tax bills were already issued collecting parish precept funds on behalf of Hunts Grove Parish Council. HGRA notes that the amount charged was exactly the same as Hardwicke Parish Council for this year. Again, the Parish Councillors from Hunts Grove were keen to see this money ring-fenced for use in Hunts Grove, which was a major factor coming back from residents in the governance review last year.
Stroud District Council paid the Hunts Grove monies to Hardwicke Parish Council as there was no alternative at the time. Hardwicke kindly offered to retain the funds in a deposit account on behalf of Hunts Grove and Stroud District councillors have confirmed that this money is ring-fenced for Hunts Grove.
HGRA reps will continue to coordinate and progress Hunts Grove matters on behalf of residents as we have always done. The District & County Councillors that will run Hunts Grove Parish in the transition period have made it clear that they welcome residents coming forward, attending the monthly meetings or contacting the new council direct with any issues as well.
The Written Statement from Stroud District Council
Tell Your Neighbours!
Can you help get this news around your neighbourhood? Many hundreds of residents are signed up as HGRA members and on our mailing list, however many are not, especially on the newer streets of Phase 2 and 3.
- Sign up to join HGRA here (it’s free!) https://www.huntsgroveresidents.org.uk/register/
- If you need a verification code for registering, just send your street and house number by email to [email protected]k
- Sign up for the newsletter here https://www.huntsgroveresidents.org.uk/newsletter/