Why do we have nine Parish Councillors?
The answer is in the Vestry minutes book record of the meeting of 13 July 1894.
Vestry Minutes 13 July 1894
At a vestry held at the schoolroom on Friday, July 13 1894 at 7:30 o’clock in the evening pursuant to the following notice:
To consider a communication received from the County Council respecting the number of parish councillors and to take such action thereon as the vestry decide.
Charles Wickham Rector, J A Pearson Churchwarden dated July 7 1894.
It was resolved that this parish do present a Petition to the County Council to fix the number of Parish Councillors at nine.
To the County Council of the County of Southampton, The Petition of the Parish of Compton in the said County in Vestry Meeting duly assembled this 13 day of July 1894 unanimously adopted; the Rev Charles Wickham MA Rector presiding. Respectfully showeth
That your Petitioners have received a communication from your body announcing that under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1894 you have fixed that there shall be five persons elected in November next to the office of Councillors for this Parish unless the inhabitants thereof make representation that they desire any different number to be appointed.
That considering the extent & character of the Parish comprising as it does the three clearly marked districts of Compton Shawford Silkstead & also part of the village of Otterbourne within the Parish having somewhat different interests & peculiarities, your Petitioners are strongly of the opinion that it is desirable the future Parish Council should consist of at least nine members, & they respectfully pray that your Order may be altered accordingly.
Dated July 13 1894 Signed Charles Wickham, Chairman.
Vestry Meetings handled local government until the Local Government Act of 1894. The Act separated local secular from ecclesiastical powers and created Parish Councils as we know them today.
With acknowledgements to Hampshire Records Office item reference 1M76/PV2