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Wolsingham Parish Council

Parish Council Responsibilities

Our duty is to act as a representative democracy; this means that we try to reflect the wishes of the majority of residents in Wolsingham and Thornley and to act in their best interests. Sometimes this means choosing between strongly held opposing viewpoints. We recognise that it is impossible to please everyone, but our duty is to fulfil the wishes of the majority.

We have responsibility for;

  1. The Town Hall; its maintenance, heating, lighting and use. A booking system is used, and it is available to all for functions, activities and events at a nominal charge.
  2. The St Anne's Centre; its maintenance, heating, lighting and use. The same booking system is used for this centre as for the Town Hall
  3. The Bowling Green, including maintenance of the playing surface and gardens.
  4. The Recreation ground at the St Anne's Centre, including maintenance (grass cutting, marking, litter clearing, tree care) and the children's play facilities on site.
  5. The Demesne Mill Parking and picnic area, including grass cutting, litter clearing, and path maintenance.
  6. Thornley Wood; this is public access land, registered by Durham County Council but managed by this Parish. Responsibilities include risk management and the proper development and use of this facility. Educational and recreational uses are being explored.
  7. The Council has a close relationship with WRECAS, which is an independent charity for Wolsingham residents. This allows us to access and manage some charitable funds for the benefit of residents.
  8. WRECAS has a community mini-bus, which residents can use at minimal cost, as long as a competent driver is available.
  9. Wolsingham Show (which is held on the first weekend every September) has an entirely independent management board with some occasional support by the Parish Council.

We do NOT have responsibility for, or control of;

  1. Highways maintenance, traffic management, street lighting, Refuse collections. See Durham County Council website;
  2. Planning matters are decided by Durham County Council. We have a right to 'make observations' and those observations must be 'taken into account'. Planning powers have been varied by the present government with an assumption of approval unless there are specific breaches of regulations. If anyone has objections to planning applications it is helpful if they let us know of their concerns, so that we have an idea of the nature and extent of concerns. We will then include that in our 'observations'.
  3. Policing; though we may be consulted by Police and they regularly report to us on developments in the area, decisions are made under the guidance of the 'Police and Crime Commissioner' Ron Hogg.
  4. Health Services, which are managed by NHS Trusts, over which we have no formal influence though we may be 'consulted'.
  5. Personal Care services, which may be provided through NHS Trusts or in some cases by Durham County Council.