1. What are Local Councils?

“Local councils” is a universal term for parish/town councils. They are first tier of local government and therefore closest to the communities they serve and are elected by residents every 4 years. They can raise their own precept – a form of council tax. There are 10,000 local councils in England and 120,000 councillors who serve on these local councils.

2. What do Local Councils do?

Local councils were created in law in 1894, they can only act within the law by exercising their powers and functions which have been conferred on them by Statutes (Acts of Parliament).

Coleford Town Council has overall responsibility for the wellbeing of its residents which fall into three categories: some services, improving quality of life, giving people a voice. See examples below:

3. What services can Coleford Council deliver? 

These are examples….

  • Allotments
  • Burial grounds, cemeteries
  • Bus shelters
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Local illuminations
  • Maintain war memorials, clocks
  • Green spaces and recreation
  • Tourist Information

4. How does Council try to improve quality of life locally?

  • Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP) help shape the settlement. Coleford’s CNDP was adopted in October 2018 and steers how local distinctive character, housing, infrastructure, economy, historic and natural environments.
  • Making Coleford resilient - acting together as a community in times of emergency; using our Resilience Plan
  • Promoting dementia friendly communities
  • Offering community grants to projects

And give communities a voice -

  • Pulling together and reviewing CNDP can only be done through consultation. Council monitors it annually.
  • Applying CNDP in planning considerations with principal authorities and developers
  • Representing community views, and working with local police and health services
  • Monitoring and taking issues to other tiers of government – Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, MP and government

5. Where does the Town Council get their funding from?

Each year a sum of money - the precept- is collected through residents’ council tax. This money is invested back into the community to improve services and facilities within their parish. Council can

also apply for grants and loans and if they own any property can receive money from rents or leases. It can also borrow money from the Public Works Loan Board.

6. How many staff does Coleford employ?

Two: Town Clerk and a Responsible Financial Officer/Assistant Clerk.

7. Who provides other services? 

Either the Forest of Dean District Council who are responsible for

  • Waste & recycling collections
  • Street cleaning and litter bins
  • Planning services, including development management, strategy, planning enforcement, heritage and conservation and tree protection
  • Environmental health services
  • Council managed leisure centres and swimming pools
  • Helping the homeless and those at risk of homelessness
  • Supporting development of affordable housing including council housing
  • Providing support with rent payments and council tax for low income households
  • Some public conveniences
  • Supporting tourism, economic development and regeneration
  • Supporting arts, sports and cultural activities including museums
  • Operating council-managed car parks
  • Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and environmental crime
  • Collecting council tax and local business rates

Or Gloucestershire County Council who are responsible for

  • Education
  • Public transport and highways
  • County planning services
  • Fire and public safety
  • Adult and children’s social care
  • Libraries
  • Waste disposal

8. Who are our other Councillors?

  • FoDDC
    • Cllr Clive Elsmore 
    • Cllr Carole Allaway-Martin 
    • Cllr Ian Whitburn
  • Gloucestershire 
    • Cllr Carole Allaway-Martin

9. Who is our Member of Parliament? 

Mark Harper MP