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The Parish Council

What does the Parish Council do?

Parish Councils are the first tier of local government in England. Although there are often two higher tiers, District or Borough Councils and County Councils, Milton Keynes Council is a ‘unitary authority’ so there is only one higher tier.

However, the Parish Council is an independent body in law and Castlethorpe Parish Council does not ‘report to’ Milton Keynes. 

In practice, most of our services are provided by Milton Keynes Council. An important role of the Parish Council is to ensure that Milton Keynes delivers a satisfactory level of service to the village. 

The Parish Council is not a ‘Planning Authority’. It cannot approve or reject planning applications. It is, however, a ‘statutory consultee’ which means that it has to be notified of all applications within the parish and the planning authority – Milton Keynes – has to take note of any parish council view. If the parish council objects, then the application cannot be determined by a Milton Keynes Planning Officer but has to go to the Planning Committee of Milton Keynes Councillors. 

The Parish raises a ‘precept’ or a levy on the houses within Castlethorpe. This is collected by Milton Keynes with the rates. The precept is about £33,000 a year or £70 per dwelling on average. 

This money is used to provide a number of services within the village but mostly looking after the village hall and the sports ground. There are occasionally other projects such as traffic calming or additional car parking and pathways at the sports ground to which the parish council contributes usually by matching Parish Partnership Grants given to the parish by Milton Keynes Council. The Parish Council may also receive ‘planning obligation’ payments from new developments. 

Parish Councillors are elected for four years - the last term started in May 2019 - unless a councillor steps down. The councillors are not paid. However, they do have a part-time Clerk and this is a paid position. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bureaucracy from the formality of calling meetings and issuing minutes, to actioning the decisions of the Parish Council and keeping a proper account of the public money that is spent. 

The Parish Council meets on the first Monday of each month at 7.30pm at the Village Hall. There are sometimes extraordinary meetings, usually to consider an urgent planning application, or meetings of the Finance Committee. All these meetings are open to the public and the Notice of the Meeting has to be posted, by law, on the village Notice Board three clear days before each meeting. 

The practice of Castlethorpe Parish Council is to hold an Open Forum for 15 minutes before each Council Meeting where residents can ask questions. Members of the public are not allowed to speak at the meeting itself by law unless the Chairman decides to suspend the meeting to allow someone to speak. 

Each year, there is an Annual Parish Meeting. Although this is chaired by the Chairman of the Parish Council if he is present, it is not a council meeting and residents can put forward resolutions by lodging them with the Clerk with due notice. The resolutions are not normally binding on the Council but clearly good note would be taken. In practice, the Annual Parish Meeting is used to give the various village organisations an opportunity to give an oral report to the village.

Your Parish Councillors


Philip Ayles Chair

Email: philip.ayles
Phone 01908 510590


John  Keane Vice-Chair

Email: john.keane
Phone 01908 510562



Russell Forgham Councillor

Email: russell.forgham
Phone 01908 510941 / 07905 341601


David Hinds Councillor

Email: david.hinds
Phone 01908 510406


Ian Markham  Councillor

Email: ian.markham
Phone 01908 511169


Darren Merritt Councillor

Email: darren.merritt
Phone 01908 601005


Kay Sawbridge Councillor 

Email: kay.sawbridge
Phone 01908 510922


Steve Bradbury Parish Clerk 

Email: clerk
Phone 01908 337928

MKC Ward Councillors


Andrew Geary

Email: andrew.geary
Phone: 01908 510227 


Bill Green

    Email: bill.green
    Phone: 07970 062885


George Bowyer

Email: george.bowyer
Phone:   07767 318326

Parish Councillor Appointments
& Declarations of Interest

At its Annual General Meeting on 13th May 2019, the Parish Council elected Councillor Philip Ayles to be its Chair and Councillor John Keane to be its Vice-Chair. The Council has also made appointments to its Committees, for individual councillor 

responsibilities and to represent the Council at various external meetings. All appointments will remain in force until the next Annual General Meeting. The statutory Declarations of Councillors’ Interests are available on the MKC website.

Committees and Responsibilities

  • FINANCE COMMITTEE: Councillors Ayles, Forgham, Merritt and Sawbridge
  • SPORTS GROUND COMMITTEE: Councillors Forgham, Ayles, Markham and Sawbridge plus representatives from the cricket and football clubs
  • VILLAGE HALL: Councillors Forgham, Hinds and Keane, plus three co-opted voting members, being representatives of the Pre-School, the Youth Club and Short Mat Bowls. The other user groups are represented by non-voting members of the committee.
  • HIGHWAYS AND STREETLIGHTS: Councillors Ayles, Markham and Merritt
  • FOOTPATHS AND PLAY AREAS: Councillors Hinds, Keane and Markham
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Councillors Ayles, Forgham and Keane
  • NEIGHBOURHOOD AND PARISH PLANS: Councillors Ayles, Forgham, Hinds and Keane
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND WEBSITE: Councillors Ayles and Forgham
  • DOG FOULING: Councillor Hinds
  • FLOWER FESTIVAL: Councillor Hinds

    The following Councillors were elected to represent the
    Parish Council at the following external meetings. 
  • Parishes’ Forum: Cllrs Ayles and Keane 
  • Rural West Neighbourhood Action Group: Cllrs Ayles, Hinds and Keane 
  • Newport Pagnell North and Hanslope Local Area Forum: Cllrs Ayles, Forgham & Keane 
  • Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils (MKALC): Cllrs Ayles and one other, by availibility 
  • Sustainable Transport & Road Safety Forum (STARS): Cllrs Ayles and Keane 

Keeping the village spick and span

The Parish Council has taken over the maintenance of the grass verges and public hedges and emptying the litter bins in the village, which was formerly done by Milton Keynes Council. Below is the schedule for this year's mowing and cutting and the litter bins will be emptied weekly on Thursdays. However if you spot one which is about to overflow please let one of the parish councillors know.


Public Papers

The following Agendas and MInutes, Public Papers, Standing Orders and Parish Council Policies are available to download in PDF form:

Contact the Parish Council

Use this form to contact us.