The Parish Council

//The Parish Council
The Parish Council2018-09-10T10:24:58+00:00

Welcome to the Parish Council

The Parish Council serves about 700 residents in the village of Michelmersh & Timsbury. There are seven Parish Councillors, elected every four years, supported by the Parish Clerk who is employed by the Council on a part-time basis.  Contact details for all of your Parish Councillors can be found on the Governance page of this website.
Meetings of the Parish Council usually take place on the fourth Wednesday of every month (excluding August and December) at 7.30pm, in the Jubilee Hall, New Road, Timsbury. These are public meetings – members of the public are most welcome to attend and are invited to raise issues, ask questions or make statements about agenda items during an Open Period.
Additional Parish Council meetings are sometimes held to discuss urgent issues arising between scheduled meetings.
Agendas and supporting documentation are uploaded to this website and posted in the Village Noticeboards at least three working days before a meeting.

What does the Parish Council do?

Looking after Village Amenities
The Parish Council owns the village Recreation Ground, including the children’s play equipment and the site of the Jubilee Hall. It also rents the Pocket Park (the woodland copse at the end of Mannyngham Way) – see image.  This copse borders both the recreation ground and Hunts farmland.  Please note that while the Pocket Park is a public open space, Hunts farmland is private property.  Click here for the boundary map.  The Parish Council is responsible for maintaining these assets. It engages contractors to carry out these jobs where necessary. The Parish Council also subscribes to the TVBC Village Lengthsman Scheme .

Planning
The Parish Council is consulted on all planning applications for developments in the village and also on broader planning issues (such as the development of borough or county-wide strategic plans). For most developments, the Planning Authority is Test Valley Borough Council. Applications relating to Minerals and Waste are the responsibility of Hampshire County Council. The Parish Council’s role is purely as a consultee – it does not make planning decisions. Councillors are given training in planning procedures, although the aim is to provide comments that reflect the views of residents on each application. The Parish Council can only usefully object to a planning application if there are robust reasons, based on planning guidance, for doing so. In addition to national and local planning regulations and guidance, such as the TVBC Local Plan the Parish Council relies on our Village Design Statement , which provides recommendations on the design of new buildings and identifies the characteristics of the village scene (such as the open spaces) that we wish to retain and enhance.
Discussions on planning applications are listed on meeting Agendas. Details of applications, and comments submitted to TVBC or Hampshire County Councils, can be found on those Council websites : TVBC Planning Portal, HCC Planning

Other duties
The Parish Council exists to serve village residents. Residents are invited to contact the Clerk or any Councillor to seek advice, to report a problem, or to make suggestions about any village issue.
The Parish Council publishes a monthly news sheet which can be emailed to residents or downloaded from this website or from the village Facebook page ‘M&T Villages’.  The Council supports the village website which provides information on all village organisations and a diary of village events, as well as other useful information.
The Parish Council works with other agencies in discussions on matters such as policing and crime, transport, highways maintenance and safety, public transport etc. and is represented on liaison groups set up by some local industries (such as waste recycling operations) to address any issues arising from such operations and to try to minimise their impacts.

Policies
The Parish Council is required to operate within a regulatory framework and has adopted policies to ensure compliance and to provide a transparent, objective and accountable service. The Parish Council adheres to Financial Regulations and Standing Orders which are reviewed annually. All Parish Council documentation reflects the Nolan Principles which govern a Councillor’s Code of Conduct.  The Clerk is the ‘responsible officer’ and has the responsibility for ensuring that the Council’s policies are followed.
All Parish Council agendas, minutes, and supporting governance documentation can be found on this website, however if you cannot find what you are looking for please contact the Clerk directly.

Finances
The Parish Council is responsible for setting an annual budget. The Council’s work is funded indirectly by residents. The Parish Council declares an annual ‘precept’- the income required in the next financial year, based on a detailed budget. This sum is then requested from Test Valley BC, who assuming the request is accepted) supply the funds which are then collected from residents via their Council Tax. The current (2016-17) is £15,500. The proposed precept for 2017-2018 is unchanged. This represents about £35 for each household in the village. The Parish Council retains a cash reserve equal to around one year’s precept to cover possible unexpected essential expenditure. Part of this reserve may be allocated to specific future capital projects.
The Parish Council maintains comprehensive accounts which are audited both internally and externally on an annual basis. A copy of the completed 2017 Audit Return can be found on this website.

The Role of a Parish Councillor
Parish Councillors are responsible for suggesting ideas and making decisions that reflect the interests of the local community. A person can become a Parish Councillor either by being co-opted or by being elected. Parish Council elections take place every four years. Michelmersh & Timsbury Parish Council Election will take place in May 2019.  Further information on the election process or becoming a Parish Councillor can be found on this website.

The Role of the Parish Clerk
The Parish Clerk is the Proper Officer of the Council and is usually also the Responsible Financial Officer. The Clerk is employed by the Council to provide administrative support and professional advice for the council’s activities. For more information on the Clerk’s role, please see the Clerk’s Job Description.