Eastergate Parish Council has a maximum of nine elected Councillors who are elected for four years. The Council employs one Officer, the Clerk, to undertake the administration of the Council’s business. The Parish of Eastergate includes the village of Eastergate east of the A29 Fontwell Avenue and Church Lane, and also west Barnham, lying to the west of Barnham Rife which runs under the embankment at Barnham Station. The Parish Councillors all live within the Parish or within three miles of it.
The Council has three Committees which are concerned with:
Planning & Environment
The Planning & Environment Committee has a maximum of four members, and considers all planning applications concerning the Parish. It sends comments on planning applications to Arun District Council which decides whether the applications are permitted or refused. The Committee takes an interest in other environmental issues, such as the maintenance of The Square and Barnham Station car park. Two large open areas of land on Farnhurst Road, Barnham, were transferred to the Council’s ownership in the 1980’s and the Committee is responsible for their maintenance and for the safety of the large trees on the land which are included in a Tree Preservation Order. The Council owns some 37 footway street lights and many public seats in the Parish. The Council maintains many footpaths in the Parish and employs a Litter Collector.
The Eastergate Sportsfield is situated at the junction of Barnham Road and Fontwell Avenue and is owned by the Council, together with the children’s play area and equipment. The land was acquired from the County Council in the 1970’s and the equipment was provided by the Parish Council. Later a sports pavilion was built with funds raised by local sports clubs, and the Council is responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. The Council laid down the metalled car park in 1986. The Committee has three members and meets occasionally with sports club representatives. The sports clubs using the Sportsfield are the Eastergate Cricket Club, the Yapton Football Club and the Stoolball Club. After lengthy negotiations, the Council allowed the Cricket Club to install a bar in the pavilion and to undertake other changes. More recently the pavilion has been rebuilt and extended by the main users, with funding from the Council. Fees are paid by the clubs to the Council for the use of the land.
The Eastergate Village Hall is a registered Charity administered by the Parish Hall Management Committee, which is composed of representatives of groups who hire the Hall on a regular basis. The Management Committee meets three times a year. The Charity Commission Scheme for the Hall has appointed the Council as the Custodian Trustee of the Charity, and the Management Committee is the Managing Trustee. The Management Committee includes up to four members of the Parish Council including the Council’s Hall Committee. The Clerk is also the Hon. Secretary of the Hall Management Committee. The Village Hall has a Community Facilities Manager, Nina McMaster, who is responsible for hall lettings and income and general supervision.
Each Committee of the Council selects its own Chairman. Meetings of the Council are held monthly except January and August, on the first Thursday of the month, and start at 7:30 pm. There is an annual Parish Meeting in the main Hall in March, April or May. This is open to all residents of the Parish. This is the occasion to review the past year and look ahead to the future. All Councillors have the opportunity to speak, and questions are taken from the audience.
The Council appoints the Chairman and Vice Chairman, and Committee members, at the meeting in May each year. The Clerk of the Council, as the paid Officer, has sole responsibility for the administration of the Council’s affairs and is also the Council’s Responsible Financial Officer. He is responsible for dealing with all correspondence, maintenance of all necessary records and general and legal advice to the Council.