Hughenden Parish Council
Hughenden Parish is situated in the heart of the Chilterns. The parish contains eight villages and hamlets - Naphill, Walter's Ash, North Dean, Bryants Bottom, Hughenden Valley, Cryers Hill, Great Kingshill and Widmer End. In some cases, villages and hamlets are served by more than one Parish Council.
The Parish Council consists of 15 Councillors, who serve approximately 3,500 households, a population of approximately 9,000 people.
The Parish Council office is closed until further notice due to the Covid pandemic.
Officers are working remotely and may be contacted as follows:
Telephone: 01494 715296
Notice of audit and right to inspect the Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2020 (posted 1st December 2020)
The audit of accounts for Hughenden Parish Council for the year ended 31 March 2020 has been carried out but cannot be completed for the reasons stated in the external auditor report (see document attached to read full report).
The Annual Governance & Accountability Return is available for inspection by any local government elector of the area of Hughenden Parish Council on application to Melinda Woof, Clerk to the Council firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice of audit and right to inspect the[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]
Statement issued by Hughenden Parish Council concerning lack of compliance with the Local Government Act 1972 section 6.11 – 6.15
Co-option to fill a casual vacancy
The Local Government Act 1972 sets out the procedure by which a Councillor may be co-opted to fill a casual vacancy. In summary, the process is as follows:
- After a vacancy has been declared by the council, it must be publicly notified (by means of a public notice) as soon as possible
- If a poll is claimed by 10 electors within 14 days of the public notification of the vacancy, then a bye-election takes place within 60 days of the notice of the vacancy
- If no poll is claimed in time, the council fills the vacancy by co-option as soon as practical
- A bye-election may not be claimed within six months of the day when
the Councillor whose office is declared vacant would ordinarily have retired
In November 2019, following an unsuccessful co-option, council received a Freedom of Information request concerning the co-option process.On investigation it became apparent that since February 2017 part of the statutory procedure had not been correctly implemented i.e. the serving of the correct public notice giving parishioners the opportunity to call a bye-election.
Since the last elections in May 2015 there have been several co-options to the council.The net impact is that in November 2019, it became clear that 7 of the co-opted councilors had not been co-opted in full compliance with the Local Government Act 1972.
The council immediately sought legal advice from specialist independent solicitors, Wycombe District Council and both county and national Local Government Associations.There appears to be scant legal precedent.Legal opinion is that if the co-option procedure was not correctly followed then the individuals concerned are not lawfully councillors.
The current position is that Hughenden Parish Council now consists of five members, four returned in the 2015 elections (Cllrs Gould, Kearey, Nicholls & Waterton) and one properly co-opted in 2015 (Cllr Gieler).
At full complement, Hughenden Parish Council is 15 members (quorum being one third of full complement).Section 6.13 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that no co-options may take place within 6 months of an election.
Elections for the new Buckinghamshire Council will take place in May 2020, May 2025 and then every 4 years.Town and parish elections will coincide with the elections to Buckinghamshire Council.
The next parish council election will therefore be held in May 2020.The council will therefore continue to operate with 5 members as a quorate council until the next election in May 2020. Council will request that Wycombe District Council enact Section 91 of the Local Government Act 1972 which allows the principal authority to make an Order to draft in additional members to the parish council for an interim period.
Information concerning the May elections will be posted on the parish council website (www.hughendenparishcouncil.org.uk) and on council notice boards.It is hoped that parishioners will put themselves forward for election to ensure a full complement of councilors.
The Council and Clerk wish to apologise to parishioners and those individuals directly affected by this lack of compliance with statutory procedure in the co-option process to fill casual vacancies.
For further information and enquiries, please contact:
Clerk to the Council
Notice issued 14/01/2020
Urban Devolved Services
Devolution to Local Government .pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [381.2 KB]
On 1st April 2016 Hughenden Parish Council and Buckinghamshire County Council entered into an ‘Urban Devolved Services Agreement’. The parish council receives funding of just over £11,000 per annum (2016 - 2022) to carry out this service.
The parish council contribute to funding from Precept to increase the annual devolved services budget to £18,000. This sum covers:
- grass verge cutting (usually 6 cuts per year/weather dependant) within 30 mph areas and some 40 mph areas (e.g.’ wide grass verge at Warrendene Road)
- siding out of footpaths
- weed control and spraying
- cutting back of hedges overhanging footpaths and serving formal notice letters
- cutting back vegetation around street signs and furniture
- washing street signs and furniture
- maintenance of street signs and furniture (e.g. village entry gates)
- granting permission for charity event signage
- removal of unauthorised charity event signage and fly posters
- clearance of Rights of Way
Please note that the section of Valley Road from the bottom of Cryers Hill to High Wycombe (40 & 50 mph zone) remains the responsibility of Buckinghamshire County Council as does the section of Coombe Lane (40 mph zone) between Hughenden Valley and Naphill.
Transfer of Parish Land
Latest update available under our Transfer of Parish Land link.