Forest Row Community Centre

Role of the Parish Council

Forest Row Parish Council was created by Act of Parliament in 1894. Parish & town councils are the first tier of local government. They are particularly important in ensuring that local services are delivered by people who understand their community and its needs, and their powers are wide-ranging.

Councillors are volunteers elected from among the local residents who give up their time to serve the community. The Parish Council is divided into three ‘wards’: Forest Row / Ashurst Wood & Hammerwood / Weirwood. The Councillors live within their wards and provide a point of contact to help deal with issues facing their community.

The Parish Council values its role in providing services and facilities for local people and within the scope of its powers. It does as much as it can to improve the community’s quality of life and is constantly open to exploring new ideas.

Major decisions are taken by the Council as a whole but the Council also manages its assets and services through a number of standing committees with decision-making powers: Finance & Policy, Amenities & Services, Property & Assets, Community Services' and Planning.

The Parish Council manages several community assets and the regular services provided to the community include:

  • Allotments
  • Cemetery and Burial Services
  • Outdoor maintenance including village greens, trees and community gardens
  • Hiring spaces for educational activities and recreation
  • Market 1st Saturday monthly
  • ‘Gages’ community lunches and home deliveries.
  • Youth service
  • Thursday Afternoon Club for over 50s
  • Community Transport including medical car service.
  • Bus shelters, public benches, footpath lighting and noticeboards
  • Planning consultations

The Council charges for some of its services, but most of its income is raised through the ‘precept’, which is budgeted for by the Parish Council but forms part of the Council Tax bill from Wealden District Council. It is then paid back to the parish, so it is in every sense a local tax spent on local facilities.