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IPSDEN PARISH COUNCIL CONSTITUTION

The Parish Council is the body corporate which represents the first tier of Local Government for the Parish of Ipsden, Oxfordshire.

Originally established by the Local Government Act 1894 the Council’s powers and activities have been increased by many subsequent Acts of Parliament but are now governed by the Local Government Act 1972 together with the Localism Act 2011. The business of Ipsden Parish Council is regulated by the Local Government Act 1972.

Ipsden Parish Council consists of four unpaid Parish Councillors democratically elected by the registered voters who reside within the Ipsden Parish. Elections take place every four years in May. All Councillors must have their main residence within the boundary of the Parish of Ipsden. A minimum of three Councillors need to be present to hold a meeting and form a quorum, voting is by a show of hands or a written ballot if requested. A majority vote by Councillors is required to pass a motion put before the Council, always providing that at least three Councillors are in agreement with the motion.

Parish Council meetings are held every other month throughout the year. The time and venue of these meetings are publicly advertised in advance and are open to members of the public to observe and listen to the proceedings. Members of the public who attend any meeting will be asked at the start of the meeting, by the Chairman, if they wish to raise any matter for the Parish Council to discuss. The Chairman will decide the amount of time allocated to any such matter. Thereafter, members of the public will not participate in the Council’s proceedings unless invited to do so by the Chairman. The Council operates a freedom of information policy, official Parish Council business is available to members of the public, in the main this is covered by the published minutes of the meetings.

The Council may set up committees to deal with specific matters that require either more extensive consideration of a matter or more dedicated on-going support of an established local facility/amenity. At least one nominated Councillor must be a member of such committees but all other members may be persons from the local community who have a relevant interest in the activities of the committee. Regular reports on the progress and activities of such committees must be given at the routine Parish Council meetings.

The purpose of Ipsden Parish Council is to work within its statutory powers to maintain and enhance the public amenities within the village and to help the people of Ipsden improve their quality of life by working in partnership with South Oxfordshire District Council.

The Parish Council will exercise all its powers and duties in accordance with the law without favour or prejudice and utilise its limited funding to achieve the greatest good for the community. The funding being obtained by levying a precept on the Council Tax paid by residents of the Parish, the amount being controlled by South Oxfordshire District Council.

Councillors agree to follow the Parish Councils’ Code of Conduct, which is overseen by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The Council’s financial and administrative affairs are dealt with by the Parish Clerk, who is a part time employee of the Parish Council. All expenditures require signatures from both the Chairman and the Parish Clerk and are reported to all other Councillors at the next available Parish Council meeting. Due to recent Transparency Legislation, the Annual accounts are subject to an internal audit only and will no longer require an external audit unless income and expenditure exceed £25k per annum.