ONE of our greatest writers would doubtless have written a hilarious novel about the goings on - or potentially lack of - in the village where he once lived.

The parish council in Combe Florey, where Brideshead Revisited author Evelyn Waugh lived until his death in 1966, could be abolished due to lack of interest.

It currently boasts just two councillors following a number of resignations for various reasons - and that's not enough to vote on anything.

As a temporary measure two district councillors have been despatched so the small authority can continue for the time being, but it could fold unless more volunteers come forward.

Combe Florey has recently been in the news over fears Evelyn Waugh's grave could collapse and a fire at the Farmers Arms.

The latest hiatus in the village, which only has 192 electors, came about when Hilary Vaughan-Thomas resigned as a councillor, leaving only two members, Lorraine Boulton and Peter Taylor.

As the council, which should have five members, needs at least three to vote on matters, business would have ground to a standstill but for Taunton Deane Borough Council stepping in.

It has sent Jane Warmington and Peter Watson to sit in and allow the parish to conduct urgent business until an election or co-option of more parish councillors.

Deane chief executive Penny James said: "Following the recent resignations, there are now so many vacancies on the parish council that it is unable to act.

"Its quorum is three members. With fewer than three members a parish council cannot act. It cannot co-opt new councillors or exercise any of its functions.

"Therefore, the co-opted district councillors should only be required for one meeting to assist in the co-option of new parish councillors as it is hoped that sufficient people will stand for co-option to provide the necessary quorum."

Justin Robinson, executive officer for Somerset Association for Local Councils, said the district councillors will "keep the parish council ticking over" until new councillors are co-opted or elected.

He added: "It's not a common situation and generally someone comes forward.

"If that's not the case, I expect the district council would look at alternatives, such as merging with a neighbouring parish council.

"There are options to terminate the council, but I'm unaware of that ever happening in Somerset.

"There would then be a parish meeting for residents convening twice a year."

Mr Robinson said fewer people are coming forward to serve on smaller councils - during the 2015 elections, only 55 of the 288 parishes in the county had sufficient candidates to hold a poll.

Mr Watson said: "We'll be attending the next meeting in March, but hopefully two or three members of the parish will come forward and we can step back."