In Chipping Bonhunt we have not just one, not just two, but three Councils. I find I’m often having to explain to confused local residents how our particularly English system of local government works.
The County Council is responsible for big budget items such as social services, highways, buses, libraries, and education (although successive governments have been taking schools away from the County Council’s control).
The District Council is responsible for more local functions such as planning, housing, environmental health and refuse collection.
So what does Chipping Bonhunt Town Council do, apart from producing a Mayor each year? Well, we pick up the very local services that the others don’t want to be responsible for. We look after the common, the town hall, the town cemetery and the museum. We provide allotments and support the tourist information centre. We cut various areas of grass, provide play equipment for the young and seats for the elderly. We also provide a “town view” on planning. All of this is managed by yours truly, Tobias Gibson, your town clerk.
A number of our Town Councillors are also District Councillors. I find it fascinating that sometimes they vote one way in the Town Council and another on the District Council, particularly on planning issues.
One thing is certain: In Chipping Bonhunt we are not short of councils!