Statement: Christmas Lights Switch On

Atherstone Town Council understand that many residents and visitors to Atherstone were disappointed in the Town Council’s decision to suspend the community grant scheme in July 2023 and the subsequent impact this has had on community voluntary organisations and events such as Dicken’s Night.


Additional pressure has been placed upon the Town Council’s finances, due to significant levels of expenditure in 2023/24 which had not been accounted for in the budget set by the previous Council in January 2023. Following a review of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2022/23, the External Auditor has stated that the reserves held by the Town Council are too low and advised that there is a need to ensure the Council can continue to function for a reasonable period should other funding be delayed or cease.


The Town Council made the difficult decision to suspend the Grants Scheme due to the potential financial difficulties it may have in meeting its statutory obligations. The Council were without a Town Clerk until mid-September and the depleted staffing resources throughout the summer followed by an induction period has meant any further analysis and review of the Council’s finances has not yet been possible. It is with regret that the Town Council are not able to offer 50% grant funding towards the Dicken’s Night fireworks as has happened in previous years.


The Town Council organise and fund the supply and installation of the Christmas Lights throughout the Town and the Christmas Tree outside St Mary’s Church for the Community each year. At the September Town Council meeting comments expressed, indicated uncertainty for the Town Mayor’s usual proceedings in relation to the Christmas Light Switch-On.


Prior to the Town Council meeting on 18th October, we wrote to the Dicken’s Committee to ask whether they wished for the Town Council Christmas Light Switch on to form part of the Dicken’s night celebrations as in prior years. The Dicken’s Committee advised they had formally voted that they did not wish to be involved with the Christmas Lights Switch on this year unless the Town Council reversed their decision on the funding of the fireworks.


Following communication of the above decision by the Dicken’s Committee on 17th October, the Council decided to host a small gathering in the Market Square to switch on the Town Council’s Christmas Lights and commemorate World AIDS Day on 1st December 2023.


It has been evident that the above decisions made by both the Town Council and the Dickens Event Committee has caused significant upset to the Community for which we wholeheartedly apologise. The Town Council and the Dicken’s Event Committee are now in communication with each other. Councillors are preparing a motion to rescind the previous decision and reinstate the light switch on event to Dicken’s Night on 25th November 2023. The Chairman intends to call an Extraordinary Meeting of the Town Council on Wednesday 1st November.


Allotment Award 2023


Atherstone Town Council Allotment Awards were presented at the Town Council Meeting on Wednesday 20th September 2023.

The Town Council manages two allotment sites in the Atherstone, one on Gypsy Lane and one on Bracebridge Road.

Over 150 tenants are eligible to enter the annual allotment awards and once again the standard of entries was very high.

If anyone is interested in renting an allotment in Atherstone there are waiting lists at both sites and enquiries can be made to the Deputy Town Clerk on 01827 720829.

List of Winners Merevale Allotments:

First Prize Full Plot – Mr Steven Ford Plot 15

Second Prize Full Plot – Mrs Ellen Chetwynd Plot 32

First Prize Half Plot – Ms Liz Peel Plot 38b

Second Prize Half Plot – Mrs Gillian Kiteley Plot 33a

Best Newcomer – Ms Liz Peel Plot 38b

Commendation – White Hart Community Group Plot 50

List of Winners Gypsy Lane Allotments:

First Prize Full Plot – Mr and Mrs Hart Plot 38

Second Prize Full Plot – Mr Kenneth Knight Plot 8

First Prize Half Plot – Mr Roger Fildes Plot 22b

Second Prize Half Plot – Mrs Yvonne Stone Plot 33

Best Newcomer – Mr and Mrs Airey Plot 25a

Commendations – Mr and Mrs Strugnell Plots 4b and 4c

Mr Garth Strugnell Plot 4a

Mr Chris Boss Plot 11

Report by Cllr Jones on behalf of the Judging Panel

Despite the plant nourishing rain showers it was a privilege to spend the evening inspecting the Merevale View and Gypsy Lane allotments. We were all impressed by  the work, skill and ingenuity demonstrated in so many of the plots.

Gypsy Lane had the tallest beans (Plot G41) and the most enormous squash plant (Plot G11a) and Merevale had the exciting Dahlia show flowers (Plot M21b) and a community plot (Plot M50) that earned a special commendation. Judging which plots to present awards to is a subjective matter where the judges had their own preferences.

Is a beautiful tended vegetable plot (Plot M54a) more worthy than a well run pigeon loft (Plot G7)? Is a well stocked chicken run (Plot G13) higher ranking than a pollinating bed complete with a bee hive (Plot M38b)?

Despite not having a set of predetermined scoring criteria the judges’ deliberations actually presented clear award winners for each category, along with a few special commendations for extra skills on display.

Welcome to our new Town Clerk

Atherstone Town Council is delighted to welcome Kate Clover as our new Town Clerk.

Town Clerk – Kate Clover PSLCC

Kate joins the council team after four years experience as a Clerk and nine years within the Town and Parish Council sector.

Prior to this, Kate has worked within the local government sector since 2005 in roles within Housing & Council Tax Benefits and Accountancy.

Kate is already familiar with the local area. She moved to Kingsbury in 2012 and regularly visits Atherstone as her local town.

Keith Barnett, Chair of Atherstone Town Council, said: “Kate will be a key member of our team, bringing new skills and experience. She will be instrumental in continuing the development of the Council’s relationships with the town, its residents and visitors.”

Kate is looking forward to getting to grips with her new role. She said: “Becoming the Town Clerk of Atherstone is a new and exciting challenge for me. I’m looking forward to helping to continue to develop Atherstone as a great place to live, work and visit.”

Annual Parish Meeting May 24th 2023


Work to Trees

Notice of Tree Work

Allotment Awards 2022

Notice of vacancy in office of Councillor



Parish of Atherstone (North)


that a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council.

If by 2 November, 2022 (14 days excluding Dies Non, after the date of this notice) a request for an election to fill said vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer at the address below by TEN electors for the said Parish, an election will be held to fill the said vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

If an election is called, it will take place not later than 5 January, 2023.


Dated 13 October, 2022


Steve Maxey

Returning Officer

The Council House

South Street