Gorsley & Kilcot Parish Council
The civil parish of Gorsley & Kilcot was formed on 1st April 2000 splitting from Newent Town Council. It covers a scattered rural settlement of 116 households falling within the jurisdiction of the Forest of Dean District Council and Gloucestershire County Council. The parish has 218 electors (1st December 2008). There is no natural centre to the parish, which is effectively bisected by the B4221. While both Gorsley and Kilcot fall partly in Gloucestershire and partly in Herefordshire, the neighbouring Parish Councils of Linton and Aston Ingham include those parts of Gorsley and Kilcot which comes under the jurisdiction of Herefordshire Council.
There is one public building in the parish Christ Church Gorsley, where the Parish Council meets. In addition to a garage and builders merchant at Kilcot Cross in the parish, there is a sub-post office and general store in Gorsley Herefordshire just outside the parish boundary. There are no other retail services. Within the parish there are a large proportion of residents who run their own businesses including farming, professional services and holiday lets that in some instances employ other people. There is also a coach hire business sited within the parish.
The Parish Council consists of 7 Councillors. The Parish Council facilitated a Parish Appraisal, which was completed in 2001 and a Parish Plan in 2003. In both cases the committees consisted of both Parish Councillors and other interested parishioners. The precept in 2008/2009 was £4750 and the Parish Council receives small amounts of income from a way leave re an electricity pole on Aston Common and an agency agreement with Gloucestershire County Council re administration of overhanging hedges. It is the Parish Councils policy to apply for grant funding for larger projects.
The Parish Council owns a piece of common land, Kilcot Green and is responsible for Aston Common, an ownerless common under Section 9 of the Commons Registration Act 1965. The Parish Council commissioned a survey and management plan for the common lands in the spring of 2001, and this was carried out by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. In line with the advice received, the Parish Councils aims, as set out in its 2003 Parish Plan, are to encourage public access, to promote nature conservation, to enhance the landscape, and to encourage the growth of native flora and fauna. Funding from the Forestry Commission, through a Woodland Improvement Grant over two years, and a small Annual Management Grant over five years, enabled the resulting action plan to be implemented. This work included selected coppicing, pollarding, and scrub clearance; clearing and herbicide treatment of invasive weeds; the creation of a vehicular barrier; and the creation of a picnic area.
In 2004, funding was received through the Forest of Dean District Councils BOWS programme (Building on Whats Special) for a bench and two further picnic tables for Kilcot Green, together with a bench for the churchyard at Gorsley. In 2004 and early 2005, substantial tree safety work was carried out by contractors on behalf of the Parish Council and Central Networks; this included coppicing and pollarding of trees. In 2008, after further consultation with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, grant aid for the clearance of the two ponds, the establishing of a grassy area and the erection of an information board was successfully sought from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust and the Forest of Dean District Council.