The 19th century saw legislation which gave country people some say in running their local affairs. In 1888 Huntingdon County Council was formed and six years later the St.Ives Rural District Council and Fenstanton Parish Council were created. In 1914, the County Council was joined to Cambridgeshire and the Rural District became part of Huntingdon District Council, which changed its name in 1986 to Huntingdonshire District Council.
Two days before resigning as Prime Minister in 1894, Gladstone made his last speech in the House of Commons; it was in support of the Parish Councils Bill, aimed at developing rural democracy. It became law that year, and on 31st December the Parish Council of Fenstanton met under the chairmanship of Howard Coote, son of Thomas Coote. Councillors attending that first meeting were: John Armon Charlotte Mary Brown George Burgess Howard Coote William Chandler Henry Hyde Frank Allen Jeeves Joseph Jacob George Radford Thomas Sparrow Charles Wilkinson Stephen Sparrow was appointed Clerk at an annual salary of £6,
From Beyond Yesterday: a history of Fenstanton, by Jack Dady