Whicham Parish Council meetings are held at Silecroft Village Hall


What does the parish council do for the local communities?

Image of Whicham parish council team playing with childrens in Kirksanton play area

It’s confusing trying to think about what a parish council actually does, but with the help of this page and the ‘Our Achievements’ page we hope to give you a little insight into what goes on.

Parish councils have a variety of powers and duties, all of which impact directly on the community.

The following are all under the remit of local councils. Some of these duties do not apply to Whicham Parish Council, but where they do, the Parish Council takes its duties seriously:
  • Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria where these are not maintained by the local Church-The Parish Council currently contribute towards the cost of the grass cutting at Whitbeck Church– The Parish Council currently contribute towards the cost of the grass cutting at Whitbeck Church.
  • Bus Shelters – the Parish Council can provide and maintain if permitted by the County Council.We currently do not have responsibility for any bus shelters within the parish.
  • Community Centres, Conference Centres, Halls, Public Buildings.The Parish Council is a trustee of Silecroft Village Hall and annually makes a donation to both Silecroft and Kirksanton Village Halls to assist in their upkeep and running costs.
  • Drainage – of ditches and ponds, Entertainment and the Arts, Footpaths.The Parish Council does not maintain footpaths currently these are the responsibility of Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park.
  • General Spending – parish councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list
  • Gifts – parish councils may accept gifts. It was this right that allowed the Parish Council to accept grants from CGP and Tesco Bags for Life which enabled us to completely replace the play areas at Kirksanton and Silecroft and upgrade the toilets at Silecroft beach.
  • Highways – lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of parish council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance. The Parish Council currently pay for the cutting of the verge at the entrance to Silecroft Village as well as some hedge cutting. We are working closely with Cumbria Highways in trying to get the 30mph speed limit extended in Silecroft village all the way to the beach. We are also in discussions for the inclusion of a footpath from the village to the beach.
  • Land – acquisition and sale of. The Parish Council currently is responsible for Kirksanton Village Green, the playground at Silecroft and the Beach front and car park at Silecroft
  • Legal proceedings – power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry
  • Litter – provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns. The emptying of bins is the responsibility of Copeland Borough Council
  • Planning – parish councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area. Any comments submitted to the planning authority by the parish council must be taken into account. The Parish Council takes  this duty seriously and considers all applications submitted. All applications and decisions are reported in the minutes of the meetings.
  • Public conveniences – provision and maintenance of public toilets. The Parish Council is responsible for the toilets on the beach front at Silecroft. These had been previously owned by Copeland Borough Council and leased to the Lake District National Park. In 2016 the toilets were gifted over to the Parish Council by Copeland Borough Council, when the LDNP no longer wished to have any further interest in them. In 2020 the toilets were refurbished and upgraded with the aid of a grant from CGP Trust and monies accrued.
  • Recreation – provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds . In 2016 the Parish Council raised and spent £47000 in replacing the play equipment at both Kirksanton and Silecroft. This was a huge achievement for the Parish Council and the children and visitors to the area now have up to date equipment to play on. The project is not yet finished. Thee play area at Kirksanton has been fenced off making it more secure and child safe. At Silecroft, the Parish Council reviewed the tennis courts and installed a multipurpose court with basketball hoops and a marked out goal posts, so that the court can be used in the winter months for other sports and activities. The Parish council also pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the grounds ensuring that grass cutting takes place on a regular basis..
  • Rights of Way – footpath and bridleway maintenance. This is currently the responsibility of Cumbria County Council and LDNP
  • Seats (public) – The benches on the sea front at Silecroft have all been replaced by ones made of recycled plastic. The benches at the play areas at Silecroft and Kirksanton will be replaced in 2021
  • Signs – danger signs, place names and bus stops signs
  • Tourism – financial contributions to any local tourist organisations allowed. The Parish Council is working closely with Copeland Borough Council and Black Combe CIC in the planning and building of a permanent café on Silecroft beach car park. It is hoped that this will be completed in 2021 and will help boost tourism to the area.
  • Traffic Calming – The Parish Council are currently in negotiations with Cumbria Highways for the installation of traffic calming measures on the beach road at Silecroft and the extension of the 30mph limit.
  • War Memorials –The War Memorial at Silecroft is important to the village. In 2017 it was the centenary of the heroic deed that resulted with Thomas Fletcher Mayson being awarded the VC in recognition of his valour in battle. A commemorative event was held and a stone laid in his honour at the base of the war memorial. The Parish Council were proud that the whole community got involved in celebrating this brave man’s actions.
  • Water Supply – power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use