The first Great Missenden Parish Council meeting was held in January 1895; the Council came about as a result of a new structure for local government.
Originally, there were 11 councillors (we now have 16) and the first Chairman was the Reverend G E Wilson. The Parish was in those days very rural and isolated with a population of 2,000 (now over 10,300).
The interesting account of Council activities from 1895 to 1928 shows that the main concerns of the Parish Council in those early years were about making the villages safe and healthy. (Please click here for the full account.)
Discussed at the first meeting was the acquisition of a new ‘Fire Engine Cart’ (costing £500) and the appointment of new Parish Constables with handcuffs. Over the years is mention of Oil (then Gas) street lighting, sewage (collected in the night soil cart), wells/water supply, the state of footpaths/roads, rubbish collection and the appointment of a Town Crier.
The provision of enough homes for local people, Schools and Post offices were also discussed and the Parish Council made sure that the villages had well-kept recreation grounds and allotments. Parked carts and horses obstructing Great Missenden High Street were on the agenda in 1903!
In order to complete our knowledge/history of parish council activities from 1928 we need someone to go through all the subsequent monthly minutes that are still held in the parish office. Even with this gap in the written account it could be said that things haven’t greatly changed although the work of the parish council is now very much scaled up and a vast amount of additional effort has recently been spent on HS2 (link).