Church Fenton - Parish Council

About Church Fenton Parish Council

Church Fenton Parish Council consists of seven Councillors who are elected every four years (current term of office: May 2019-May 2023). The council consists of a Chairperson who is elected annually from their own number.

Parish councils meet regularly to address their responsibilities. The Council hold meetings on the 3rd Thursday of each month in the Village Hall at 7.30pm (excluding August and December). These meetings are open to the public, with a public participation period at the start of each meeting. There are also occasional meetings of working groups as and when required. Apart from Councillors, each Parish Council has a Clerk who provides administration and guidance for the Council. The Clerk for Church Fenton Parish Council is:

    Robin Harris, Clerk to the Council
    The Willows, Nanny Lane
    Church Fenton LS24 9RL
    North Yorkshire
    Mob: 07538 726142

Members of the Parish Council

Councillors can be contacted directly. However, all correspondence should go through the Clerk. The current Chairperson, Cllr Samantha Charlston has been elected until May 2022 to this position due to Covid19 (delayed Annual mtg during 2020). All Councillors serve a 4 year term of office (May 2019-May 2023). The seven seats of the Council are currently as follows:

Councillor Samantha Charlston (Chair)

I've been a resident of Church Fenton for over 20 years, married with 2 daughters who attended Kirk Fenton School. I actively participate in as many of the village activities that work and volunteering allow me to do so, including the WI. I have previously been a volunteer in the Community Shop, and I am a member/shareholder in both of our community assets.

I am passionate about the village and parishioners of Church Fenton. It is a great place to live, with great people. It is a huge honour to be elected as a Parish Councillor. I intend to fulfil the role as best I can, in an unbiased, honest and professional manner and look forward to working with and on behalf of the villagers of Church Fenton.

Contact Details
Tel. 07801 965268
Declaration of Interests

Councillor Stewart Ferris

Contact Details
Declaration of Interests

Councillor Ross Higham

I am Ross Higham and am the Licensee at The Fenton Flyer Pub in Church Fenton. I am in my 8th year now at The Flyer and it has been a great journey, in lots of ways. Previously I had a long term career with The Highways Agency (now Highways England) specialising in facilities/project and programme management, along with recruitment and HR work.

My commitment to this great village has been passionate and wholehearted since being co-opted onto The Parish Council. I have been heavily involved in the biggest projects this village has ever seen, most notably the Community Shop, as licensee and the Community Pub, as the PC rep on the Community Hub group. Going forward with the newly elected Council, my enthusiasm, experience and professionalism will help to add to future projects and ensure that your PC achieves the best it can for this fantastic village.

Contact Details
Tel. 07785 708875
Declaration of Interests

Councillor Andrew Mason

I lived in Garforth and attended Garforth Comprehensive. Spent several years travelling and studied Economics and Politics at Warwick University. I set up my own business 10 years ago. Always been very interested in local politics and wanting to make a difference.

I am a keen family man and enjoy running, music, reading and the movies. Always looking out for the best for the village and use my excellent negotiating skills as much as I can to obtain this! Always keen to listen to everyone's views and opinions.

Contact Details
Tel. 07973 135196
Declaration of Interests

Councillor Jo Mason

Contact Details
Declaration of Interests

Councillor Michelle Seguss

Contact Details
Tel. 07961 071496
e-mail: Tel. 07764 352282 - e-mail:
Declaration of Interests

On an annual basis, all Councillors have to complete an Acceptance of Office and a Declarations of Interest form. These can be located here, or you can click on the link next to the Councillor's name above to see their completed Declarations.

What we do?

Parish councils are responsible for managing their own budgets. They are financed through the precept, an amount of money calculated as an estimate for the coming financial year and collected as part of your Council Tax. This money is used to improve facilities and services for local people. Parish councils can also apply for other funding, such as grants and awards. Parish councils actively encourage input from residents on what the community needs, so that they can budget for that activity. Parish councils have a range of powers and duties in relation to the communities they serve. You can see the full list of powers here at Powers of a Parish Council.

Information about the role of a parish councillor and guidance on standing for election can be found on the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) website which provides these publications:

  • All about local councils
  • It takes all sorts: Local councils represent your community, make a difference.
  • The Localism Act, which came into force in 2011, passes more power to communities and encourages those communities to become more self-reliant. Community rights powers are a cornerstone of this legislation.

These involve such projects as Neighbourhood Planning - Church Fenton Neighbourhood Development Plan. Find out more detail at the UK national Community Rights website. For further details on the Localism Act and the various rights, visit the Department for Communities at the Local Government website.

Parish councils can extend their powers to do anything to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of their community as long as it is within the law. To exercise this right, a parish council must adopt the general power of competence, subject to fulfilling certain criteria. There is more detail available on the General power of competence: impact assessment. Currently Church Fenton Parish Council do fulfil these requirements for "General Powers of Competence".

In a practical sense and for a Parish of our size, the key responsibilities are:

  • To observe and comment on planning applications within the Parish.
  • To set an annual budget which determines the Precept.
  • To nominate representatives on external groups.
  • To consider and report on matters of general concern to the village (e.g. traffic issues, recreational amenities, planning, public rights of way, litter).

How to get involved

Your Councillors meet regularly as a Parish Council and welcome attendance and participation from the communities they serve. Meetings are advertised on the website and the village noticeboard, but you can contact the Parish Clerk for dates and times of meetings for the year ahead. At the beginning of each meeting, there is an open forum for the public to put forward questions and points they wish to raise.

Parish Councils get involved with lots of projects within their communities. Working Groups are made up of Parish Councillors and community representatives working on a specific project, such as our current "Playground enhancements", carrying out a parish plan or helping to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.

Who to contact

Church Fenton Parish Council

Town and parish councils are responsible for smaller local services such as playparks, community centres, allotments and war memorials. In Church Fenton, the Parish Council also own a number of assets including: the Village Hall, The White Horse, The Community Shop as well as benches, entrance signs, and some streetlights.

Selby District Council

Each county is divided into several districts. District councils, cover a much smaller area and provide more local services. District Councils are responsible for housing, leisure and recreation, environmental health, waste collection, planning applications and local taxation collections.

North Yorkshire County Council

County councils cover the whole of the county and provide the majority of public services in their particular area. County councils are responsible for: education, highways, transport planning, passenger transport, social care, libraries, waste disposal and strategic planning.


This page contains links to one or more documents that may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. This page contains links to one or more documents that may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. We are working towards making all documents that the Council publishes suitable for assistive technologies. In the meantime, you can request an accessible format from the Parish Clerk at