about buckden parish council

Tingewick Parish CouncilSome of you may not be familiar with the history of Parish Councils.

Some thousand years ago when communications were poor and central government weak or often non-existent, villages were ruled by the Lord of the Manor and, as time progressed, Parish Priests and School Masters became involved in matters relating to the whole community as they were the only adult inhabitants with any form of education.

Around 1600 the church took on a more active role in the government of the community and Church Vestry Meetings were organised and introduced legislation to give themselves the responsibility of levying the poor rate. These were the first effective local taxes. Everyone in the parish was entitled to attend Church Vestry Meetings but in reality the work fell to a few individuals, rather like the Parish Councils of today.

In the 1800's the Poor Law Amendment Act removed from Parish Vestries the responsibility for poor relief and handed it to the Poor Law Unions who were the predecessors of what is now our District Councils.

Although the Squire, the Parson and sometimes the Schoolmaster were still the leaders in the village, popular education was spreading and more people wanted a say in managing local affairs, and it was W E Gladstone, then Prime Minister, who introduced the 1894 Local Government Act which, although faced with considerable opposition, made its way through the Houses Of Parliament to became law and result in the formation of Parish Councils as we know them today.

The first meeting of the Buckden Parish Council was held in the Girls School room on 31st December 1894 and regular meetings have continued without interruption to the present day. Throughout that time the Council has tried to act as agents for the village and has seen its role as a channel through which to focus the needs of the village as a whole.

The full history of the Council is available from the Clerk, and is also presented in a chapter of the book, 'Buckden. A Huntingdonshire Village', which is readily available at outlets in the village or via this website: www.buckden-village.co.uk/buckden-books/index.htm

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