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Your Parish Council

About Parish Councils

Parish Councils are local authorities first created by statute in 1894.  In law, a Parish Council is a single corporate body and the decisions it takes are the responsibility of the Parish Council as a whole.  Originally Chineham was part of Old Basing and became a Parish in its own right in 1986.

The Parish Council is the first tier of local government and the one closest to the community in which it operates.  In England there are four tiers of local government, each serving a greater geographical area and larger population:

  • the Parish Council
  • the District Authority (e.g. Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council)
  • the County Council
  • Regional Government

A Parish Council has a legal duty to ensure that all the rules for the administration of the council are followed.  It must:

  • appoint a Chairman of the Parish Council
  • appoint officers as appropriate for carrying out its functions
  • appoint a Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) to manage the council's financial affairs
  • appoint an independent and competent internal auditor
  • hold a minimum of four meetings per year, one of which must be an Annual Meeting of the Council (see the Meetings section)

Parliament has given Parish Councils the power to raise and spend money.  Parish Councils must decide how money will be raised and spent on behalf of their local community.  The Parish Council is responsible for spending public money lawfuly and without risk, and for achieving the best value for money.

Each Parish Council is made up of individual councillors who contribute to the work of the whole council by

  • suggesting ideas
  • engaging in constructive debate
  • responding to the needs and views of the community
  • representing their constituents
  • behaving in an ethical way and being open about interests
  • commenting on proposals to ensure the best outcome
  • voting - to enable the Parish Council to make decisions

No individual Parish Councillor (including the Chairman) can make a decision on behalf of the Parish Council.

To view details of what information Chineham Parish Council is committed to making available to the public please click here.  To view the model Publication Scheme adopted by Chineham Parish Council please click here.  Please contact the Clerk if you wish to obtain a copy of the information included in this publication scheme.

The Chineham Parish Council Logo

The familiar Chineham Parish Council logo was originally created by Tim Lloyd, who was a serving parish councillor at the time of its design.

It features the Herb Paris, a rare plant that is indigenous to Chineham.  The plant was discovered by Simon Hones, who at the time of its discovery was also a parish councillor, as well as local curate.