The Council - About

A Parish Council is a statutory local authority established under the Local Government Act 1972.  It is the first level of local government (operating one level below district councils and unitary authorities) that provides communities with a democratic voice and a structure for taking community action.  There are currently, approximately, 9,000 town and parish council's in England.

Holybrook Parish Council (which was originally part of Theale Parish Council was formed in 2000), is permitted fifteen Councillors who stand for election every four years.  An election was held on Thursday 4th May 2023 and Holybrook Parish Council now has 11 members who were elected in an uncontested election.  Meaning that we currently have 4 empty seats to which members could be co-opted.  Elected Councillors serve a four-year term. 

Holybrook Parish Councillors do not receive any payment for being elected members and offer their time voluntarily for the benefit of the local community.  However, the Chairman of Holybrook Parish Council receives a small (£50) honorarium to assist with the expenses incurred in their role. 

The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Parish Council are elected annually by other Parish Councillors at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council each May.  For the year 2023/24 Cllr Claire Tull has been elected as Chairman and Cllr Mary Bedwell has been elected as Vice-Chairman.  


If you are interested in becoming a Councillor we would love to hear from you. 


As a first step why not attend a Parish meeting (meeting dates) or give the Parish Clerk a telephone call (0118 9454 339) to discuss. 

Duties and Functions of a Parish Council

The duties and functions of a parish council are varied and depend, to some extent, on the assets which are owned by the Parish Council.

Holybrook Parish Council currently owns and maintains the following assets:


  • The Beansheaf Community Centre which consists of the Parish Office as well as rooms for hire (Linear Park, off Charrington Road);
  • The Garage (Linear Park, off Charrington Road);
  • The equipment, benches and bins on the play areas in Underwood Road (locally known as 'The Didi Park') and on the Holymead (Carters Rise) including the multi-use games area and youth shelter;
  • Five metal bus shelters on Charrington Road and Carters Rise;
  • Parish noticeboards: Dorking Way, Linear Park, Mill Lane and Holybrook Centre as well as one in each bus shelter;
  • Bins (other than in parks): Dorking Way (dog/litter), Underwood Road/Grantham Close, Albury Gardens Bus stop;
  • Dog bins: layby on A4 (opposite garage/end of Latimer), Cow Lane, Underwood Road, Low Lane (x 3), Carters Rise (between KVS & KVC) Mill Lane/Hawkesbury Drive, Cambrian Way/The Chase, Carters Rise/Hawkesbury Drive;
  • Salt bins: Calbourne Drive, Holybrook Centre, David Smith Court;
  • Defibrillator: Beansheaf Centre;
  • Bench: War Memorial Bench (Linear Park)
  • Information Lectern (Linear Park: Twenty Trees Anniversary Orchard). 

The Parish Council pays contractors to empty the rubbish and dog bins within its ownership, and to cut the grass and bushes/foliage in the playgrounds.

The Parish Council also pays a contractor to provide a Warden service.  The Wardens perform many and varied duties within the Parish including the cleaning of the bus shelters, the removal of dog foul and litter picking. 


Here follows an indicative list of powers and functions of a parish council to give an overview of the wide range of activities covered by Acts of Parliament (NOTE: this list does not represent a comprehensive list of all powers and duties of a parish council):


  • Support and encouragement of arts and crafts;
  • Provision of village halls;
  • Provision and maintenance of recreation grounds, parks, children's play areas, playing fields and swimming baths;
  • Cleaning of drainage ponds, watercourses and ditches;
  • Control of litter;
  • Provision and maintenance of public toilets;
  • Repair and maintenance of footpaths and bridleways;
  • Provision of cycle and motorcycle parking;
  • Acquisition and maintenance of rights of way;
  • Encouragement of tourism;
  • Bus shelters;
  • Signposting of footpaths;
  • Lighting of footpaths; 
  • Power to assume a function delegated by another authority;
  • Power to employ someone to carry out Council functions;
  • Power to spend money on various crime prevention measures;
  • Power to act for the benefit of the community by tackling and promoting awareness of environmental issues.

Parish Council's must be notified by the district council (West Berkshire Council) of:

  •  All planning applications in its area;
  • Proposals to carry out sewerage works;
  • Footpath and bridleway (ore generally, 'rights of way') surveys;
  • Intention to make byelwas in relation to hackney carriages, music and dancing and street naming.