What do our Parish Councillors do for us?

Cookham Parish and LibDem Councillor Mike Barnes explains the role of the Parish Council in village life.

Councillors hold a full council meeting every month at the Parish Office in High Road, Cookham. Councillors also sit on separate committees covering Planning (every fortnight), Finance, Adoptive Acts, Footpaths and Open Spaces and the Flood Committee.

Planning is certainly the highest profile activity that we get involved in.

We understand how things ‘fit’ and the Borough must take our views into account – but can overturn them.

The Village Design Statement that has now been adopted in its entirety by the Borough puts more local emphasis into the planning process. With a budget of over £90,000, the Parish Council also has responsibility for footpaths and public open spaces including, the cemetery and burials making sure that these comply with the relevant regulations. We take our duty of care responsibilities very seriously, making sure play equipment is safe.

But we also innovate – for instance making the skateboard ramp on the Recreation Ground ‘happen’.
The Parish Office is often the first port of call for residents’ queries, concerns and problems and it can start the ball rolling.

As Vice Chairman of the Council, Mike participates on all the committees and makes sure that things run smoothly and that everyone knows what’s going on, drawing on his experience working at IBM negotiating and delivering complex bids.

Mike has spent 38 years in Cookham Rise and became a councillor because he loves the village and its heritage and wants to preserve and improve Cookham and its environment. “I don’t want any of the Cookhams to become sterile, dormitory areas”, he says.

“I want Cookham to keep its community spirit and vitality with people of all ages using local shops, schools, day care centres, community events such as the Village Fair, youth groups such as the Scouts and the churches”.

What do our Parish Councillors do for us?

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