Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is a parish or town council?

A: We are the level of government closest to the community with the district authority (Wealden District Council) above us in the hierarchy. We make decisions on behalf of the residents in the parish. There is no real difference between a parish and town council, although the latter tend to be larger. They both have the same powers and can provide the same services. The only difference is that a town council has decided that it should be known as a town council instead of a parish council. The Chair of a town council is the mayor. There are around 9,000 parish and town councils representing around 16 million people across England.

Q: Who are the ED&F Parish Councillors?

A: We have nine Councillors supported by the Parish Clerk

Q: How are ED&F Parish Councillors elected?

A: The ED&F Parish Council is non-political. Our nine councillors are elected to represent the ED&F parish as a whole (larger councils may be split into 'wards'). Councillors are elected by the residents of the parish, with elections taking place every four years (unless there is a casual vacancy). Councillors stand down at the end of the four-year term but may stand for re-election. The next full election will be in May 2019. 

Q: What services does ED&F Parish Council provide?

A: The parish council has an overall responsibility for the well-being of the local community. Our work falls into three main categories i) representing the local community; ii) delivering services to meet local needs; iii) striving to improve quality of life in the parish. Take a look here to see some of the activities we are involved with

Q: Who Does What in the Village?

A: Activities undertaken by the Parish Council, District Council, County Council and others. The listing does not cover every item but does provide an indication of who does what.

Q: Where does ED&F Parish Council get its Money from?

A: Each year after setting our budget we advise Wealden Distict Council and they collect the required amount, called the ‘precept’, via the council tax. They pay over the precept to us in two equal instalments in April and September. We use this money to improve facilities and services and to run the Council. If necessary we can apply for grants and loans for specific needs.

Q: When and where are ED&F Parish Council meetings held?

A: Parish Council Meetings (PCM's) are held in the small village hall on the first Thursday of the month (except September) starting at 6.30pm. The Planning Committee is held on the third Tuesday of every month (unless there is no business to discuss) and starts at 6.30pm. All Council and Committee meetings start with a public session, and agendas will be posted on this website at least three working days in advance.

Q: Can the public come along to ED&F Parish Council meetings and speak?

A: Most certainly. The public and the press are very welcome to attend any of our Council or Committees meetings. They all start with a public session (up to 15 minutes unless extended by the meeting Chair) at which members of the public can make comments or ask questions. Ideally subjects raised in the public session should be related to items on the meeting agenda. Once the public session is closed, the public can no longer participate in the meeting (unless agreed by the meeting Chair) but are very welcome to listen in. 

Q: How do I contact the ED&F Parish Council?

A: There are several ways:- a) by using the CONTACT US b) by telephoning the Parish Clerk on 01323 811870 c) by emailing or telephoning an individual councillor directly. d) by coming along to a monthly Council or Committee meeting e by visiting us at the coffee morning held from 10am on the last Thursday of the month (usually) in the Village Hall f) in writing to:- East Dean and Friston Parish Council The Old Cottage Lewes Road Laughton BN8 6BQ 

Q: How does the EDF Parish Council make decisions?

A: The Parish Council is made up of nine councillors who meet monthly to make decisions on the work and direction of the council. As an elected body, the Parish Council is an “it” and, through its councillors, is responsible to the people it represents – that’s the local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what it does (anyone can attend) plus - take a look at the other pages on this website. 

Q: Can I become a Councillor and what is the time commitment?

A: To become a councillor there are a few basic rules; you have to be i) a British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union; ii) 18 years or older; iii) live or work in or near the parish. As a councillor you become a voice for the community and affect real change. It helps if you're a "people person" who enjoys talking to other residents but, more importantly, you need to have the concerns and best interests of the parish as a whole at heart. Councillors are community leaders and should represent the aspirations of the public that they serve. On average, the role of councillor takes less than a couple of hours a week. Obviously there are some councillors who spend more time than this – and some less, but in the main, being a parish councillor is an enjoyable way of contributing to your community and helping to make it a better place to live and work. Council meetings are always held in the evening – as are most meetings of the other groups which councillors attend on the Council’s behalf. Talking and listening to your fellow parishioners can be done at any time but you must be able to spend a couple of hours once a month on a Thursday evening attending the Council meeting. 

Q: What is the Annual Village Meeting?

A: All Parish and Town Councils throughout England are required by law to hold an Annual Parish Meeting which must take place between 1 March and 1 June. It is not a Parish Council meeting but a meeting of the local electorate to discuss and hear about local issues. Over the past few years the ED&F Village Meeting has been attended by over 100 residents each year in the village hall.