Your Parish Council
They are responsible for services across the whole of a county, including schools, roads and rights of way, social care and education. Ours is West Sussex County Council.
District, borough and city councils
They cover a smaller area than county councils and are responsible for refuse, planning, environmental and other mattes. Ours is Horsham District Council.
Parish, community and town councils
They operate at a level below district and borough councils. They provide communities with a democratic voice and a structure for taking community action. This is us, Thakeham Parish Council.
You can find all of their details here.
At the beginning of the four year term a new Chair of the council is elected, and sometimes a Vice-Chair, as well as deciding the members of the sub-committees and working groups.
Neighbourhood Planning Committee
This group oversees planning, housing and economic development issues, including considering and responding to planning applications, engagement and guidance of potential applicants, oversight of the Council’s built assets, employer liaison, economic and employment matters.
This group monitors and takes steps to maintain and improve the village’s appearance and amenities, including waste/litter, playing fields and playgrounds, green spaces (including allotments), footpaths and bridleways, transport and road safety and signage.
Community Working Group
This group leads on matters relating to communications, local engagement, community cohesion and safety/security issues.
Finance and Legal Working Group
This group oversees leads on matters relating to the Council’s finances, assets, risks and staffing.
To be able to stand as a candidate at a parish council election in England or a community council election in Wales you must:
• be at least 18 years old
• be a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union, and
• meet at least one of the following four qualifications:
1. You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the parish/community in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.
2. You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish/community area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
3. Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the parish/community area.
4. You have lived in the parish/community area or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
There are certain people who are disqualified from being elected to a parish or community council in England and Wales. You cannot be a candidate if at the time of your nomination and on polling day:
• You are employed by the parish/community council or hold a paid office under the parish/community council (including joint boards or committees).
• You are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.
• You have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended sentence), without the option of a fine, during the five years before polling day.
• You have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which covers corrupt or illegal electoral practices and offences relating to donations). The disqualification for an illegal practice begins from the date the person has been reported guilty by an election court or convicted and lasts for three years. The disqualification for a corrupt practice begins from the date a person has been reported guilty by an election court or convicted and lasts for five years.
A person may also be disqualified from election if they have been disqualified from standing for election to a local authority following a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (formerly the Adjudication Panel for England) or the Adjudication Panel for Wales.
Meeting agendas can be found here on our website or on the Parish notice boards.
People wishing to make an input in the meeting will have an opportunity to do so.
– general spending to benefit the community,
– reviewing planning applications within the parish,
– and maintaining rights of way,
– managing allotments,
– creating some bye-laws.
You can find comprehensive financial reports from previous years here on our website.
Allocation of funds and spending is discussed and agreed at the monthly parish meetings. Every effort is made to ensure taxpayers are getting excellent value for money.
- Thakeham Village Hall which is leased to the Thakeham Village Hall Trust.
- Thakeham Preschool which is leased to Thakeham Preschool.
- Abingworth football fields and changing room facilities.
- Abingworth cricket field and pavilion which will be leased to West Chiltington and Thakeham Cricket Club.
- High Bar Lane children’s playground and a small green play area on Linfield Copse.
Thakeham Parish Council is a statutory consultee in relation to all planning applications within the parish boundaries and makes recommendations to the district council.
Where the parish council has objected to an application the case is usually referred to the District Council Planning Committee.
The parish council’s comments are then factored into district-level decisions, but it is one opinion among many and may be over-ridden.
At the start of each meeting the councillors present are asked to declare their interest in any agenda items, which includes any planning applications, and will not normally participate in the discussion.
We also have strict policies in place regarding any gifts and/or hospitality received as a parish councillor. You can read the policy here.
To make a comment regarding a current planning application online go to the Horsham District Council website here and follow their instructions.
• The plan sought to locate areas that would be suitable for the development of more housing. The main areas identified were the Abingworth development, the Meadowbrook development on Water Lane in Storrington and the site of Thakeham Tiles Ltd on Rock Road.
• After official reviews and some minor tweaking, the proposed plan was open for a 6 week public consultation in (October-December 2015) providing residents a chance to submit their comments to Horsham District Council.
• After further negotiations and finalisation, a referendum to confirm local support of our Neighbourhood Plan took place on 22nd March 2017. Total voter turnout was 460 (23%). Of those who voted 93% endorsed the plan.
• On 26th April 2017 Horsham District Council formally ‘made’ the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan.
The plan is now part of the framework of district planning guidance, against which future development applications within the parish boundary will be judged. Sites not identified for development in the plan will be much less likely to be approved though this is not a guarantee.
A planning breach usually occurs when:
- A development that requires planning permission is undertaken without the permission being granted – either because the planning application was refused or was never applied for.
- A development that has been given permission subject to conditions breaks one or more of those conditions.
Roads and Rights of Way
In autumn 2017, the parish council circulated the draft scheme widely for consultation, and fed back residents’ concerns to the scheme designers about the configuration. This resulted in some minor amends, but the main elements of the scheme have remained unchanged because the designers produced cogent arguments that there is no other viable solution to the complex constraints along this section of road. WSCC Highways team ultimately agreed with the scheme designers that this arrangement was acceptable, and it was implemented in 2018.
The speed limit on the B2139, between Thakeham and Storrington, was reduced from 60mph to 40mph in August 2019 and we have helped to set up the Thakeham Speedwatch group.
Dissatisfied residents remain free to make us aware of concerns, but are advised to raise them direct with WSCC Highways, either via the routes set out on the West Sussex County Council website, or by contacting Andrew Howick (WSCC Team Manager – Highway Agreements, Planning Services – by email), he is familiar with the detail of the Abingworth calming scheme.
Also, the terms of the legal transfer of the Village Hall and Pre-School buildings provides for ‘a right of way for the transferee and all person authorised by the transferee…with or without vehicles (in the case of roadways) and on foot only (in the case of footpaths and footways) over and along all roads and footpaths and footways..’
The status of the development car parks is that they are part of the ‘maintained areas’ defined in legal (S106) agreements, and the same agreements make it clear that unimpeded public access was always envisaged to all maintained areas. In addition, the Parish Council sought and received specific assurance regarding public access to the maintained areas, and also the LEAP playground and ‘general informal recreation open space’ – i.e. the area around the pond. Also, the terms of the legal transfer of the Village Hall and Pre-School buildings provides for ‘a right for the transferee and all persons authorised by the transferee … to use the car park immediately adjacent to the property… for all purposes in connection with the use and enjoyment of the property’.
Therefore there are, effectively, assurances of unimpeded and free-of-charge public access to both the roads and car parks (at least, the Village Hall and Pre-School car parks) by members of the public, as long as that access is for valid legal purposes. It does not necessarily create rights to park for extended periods on development roads, nor to park (at the Village Hall or the Pre-School) at times or in ways not authorised by either the managing agents for the estate or the Parish Council. Nor to park off-road on the maintained areas or sports facility land owned by the Parish Council.