Bredhurst Parish Council was formed in 1975. The parish covers all of Bredhurst village, from the M2 bridge at The Street, along Kemsley Street to Paris Farm and along Dunn Street Road to Manor Farm. All properties in Hurstwood Road, Fir Tree Grove, Blind Lane, Forge Lane and Blacksmith Court are included.
Bredhurst Parish Council is comprised of seven members who are elected every four years. The next election is in May 2021.
What is a Parish Council?
A parish council is a small local authority. It is community based and the most accessible tier of local government. Councillors try to ensure that decisions made by various authorities and outside bodies reflect the views of residents. All parish councillors are unpaid volunteers. The Clerk is the only paid member of staff.
What does a Parish Council do?
Parish Councils have a number of formal powers and comments on planning applications, structure plans and government discussion documents. It is also involved in crime prevention measures and initiatives to help improve village life.
Bredhurst Parish Council is responsible for Blacksmiths Community Barn, allotments, the community field including the play equipment, seats, signs and noticeboards. The Council regularly liaises with Kent County Council, Maidstone Borough Council and other statutory bodies.
A Parish Council’s Finances
Parish councils are generally the most un-bureaucratic and cheapest kind of local authority. They raise the majority of income from a precept, a tax that electors pay through their council tax and is collected on its behalf by Maidstone Borough Council. Bredhurst currently has 370 residents on the Electoral Roll.
How the Precept is Set
The parish council decides annually what the precept should be. It does this by setting a budget that forecasts the expected expenditure and income for the year (April to March). Councillors then decide what the precept needs to be set at to cover all anticipated expenditure.
The parish council is held accountable and monitored in many ways including internal and external audits. The audit includes a period where electors have access to the accounts and can raise queries with the auditor. The outcome of the audit is notified to Maidstone Borough Council and to Bredhurst Parish Council.
How do I become a Parish Councillor?
Parish Council elections take place every 4 years in May.
Vacancies sometimes occur between elections (called ‘Casual Vacancies’) and these are generally filled by co-option. If this happens the vacancy is advertised and applications are sought. You are welcome to register an interest with the Parish Clerk.
To stand for election you must:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Be a British citizen, or an eligible Commonwealth citizen
- Live within 3 miles of the Bredhurst parish boundary for the whole of the 12 months prior to your nomination and the day of election
- Work in the Parish for the whole of the 12 months prior to your nomination and the day of election
- Own land or other premises within the Parish boundary
- Not be a bankrupt or have received a jail sentence within the past 5 years (suspended or not)
How can I find out more?
Use the ‘Contact Us’ tab on our website or message us direct via the Bredhurst Parish Council Facebook page. Members of the public are welcome to attend our monthly meetings which are open to the public and have timeslots for the public to raise issues with councillors. Details of meetings can be found on our website.