THE NEXT FULL COUNCIL MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE AT 7.00 pm ON WEDNESDAY 9 JANUARY 2019 AT GURNARD VILLAGE HALL, WESTBROOK LANE .
THE NEXT PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETINGS WILL TAKE PLACE (IF REQUIRED) AT 7PM ON WEDNESDAY 30 JANUARY 2019 AT GURNARD VILLAGE HALL, WESTBROOK LANE.
THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING WILL BE HELD IN SPRING 2019 AT GURNARD VILLAGE HALL, WESTBROOK LANE.
THE DATE FOR THE NEXT ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL WILL BE 8 MAY 2019 AT 7PM AT GURNARD VILLAGE HALL, WESTBROOK LANE.
There is often a Planning Committee meeting each month also, held on the last Wednesday at the same time and venue. Notices advertising all these meetings, as well as the annual meetings are placed on the Parish Noticeboard in Worsley Road 3 clear days before each meeting (7 days for the Annual Parish Meeting).
The Parish Council has both powers and duties and its main function is to serve the Community in Local Government, whilst at the same time making legal and balanced decisions. It effectively represents many interests of the Gurnard Community as well as serving as a Consultative Body for the Isle of Wight Council and Central Government, and often this extends to issues well outside of its normal remit.
The first Parish Clerk, Mrs Joy Bradley, was appointed on 10th June 1985 and served until 31st August 2000. She stayed on for one month after this, working alongside her successor, Mr Rusty Adams, who remained in place until 31st March 2014. On 1st April 2014 Rusty handed over to Mrs Sue Waters. Following a major increase in planning applications for the village requiring tow meetings a month, Sue left the Parish Council for family reasons. In the short term a locum clerk is being employed – Mrs Katie Riley until a permanent clerk can be recruited.
The Clerk is an employee of the Parish Council, and as such is salaried from the Annual Precept. From 1st April 2014 the contract between the Clerk and the Parish Council is for 20 hours per week, but often the workload will extend to beyond these hours. It is important to realise that the Clerk is the servant of the Parish Council, not the Village, but nonetheless will always try to serve as an effective link between the residents and the Parish Council.
Whilst the following is not an exhaustive list, it certainly gives a flavour of what the Parish Council actually does, and how it can be used by the residents it represents most effectively.
Full Council Meetings
With effect from May 2017 these are usually held on the 2nd Wednesday monthly at 7 pm, with the exception of August. The items discussed will most likely include planning applications, consultation documents, village issues, reports from various bodies that the Parish Council has dealings with, and finance. There is always a public session at the start of the meeting for residents to ask questions before the meeting starts properly, and this is limited to 5 minutes per person or group, but may be extended at the Chairman’s discretion. There is now also the opportunity to speak during agenda item discussion, again at the Chairman’s discretion.
b. Planning Committee Meetings These are held as and when needed, but increasingly are being called most months due to the consultation period being less than the monthly cycle of full council meetings, and from May 2017 will nearly always be on the 4th or 5th Wednesday of the month, again at 7pm. The Public session facility will be the same as for Full Council Meeting, but only for current agenda items.
c. Annual Parish Meeting This is a less formal meeting, called by the Parish Council Chairman, and is usually held on the last Wednesday in April at 7.30pm. This is an ideal meeting to attend to see what the Parish Council does as there a report is given on the year, both for activity and finance, and there is usually at least one speaker covering a lighter topic or amusing/informative subject. The Safer Communities Officer (Police) is also usually present, as is the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator. Refreshments are served and there is a Public Open Forum at the conclusion of the meeting.
d. Annual Meeting This is always the meeting at which the Chairman is elected, and is usually held on the 2nd Wednesday in May. The only exception to this might be in an election year, where it has to be held within 14 days of the date when Councillors should take office. The 2017 Annual Meeting took place on 11 May – the next election year is 2021. Gurnard Parish Council splits the annual meeting into 2 parts with the first part being for the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, as well as appointing Councillors to represent the Parish Council on various outside Bodies and Organisations. The 2nd part then proceeds as per an ordinary monthly Full Council Meeting. The Public session will usually take place between the 1st and 2nd parts of the agenda.
e. Working Parties/Steering Groups Working Parties are set up when some project is undertaken necessitating this form of management. The Parish Council will always be represented but often membership is mainly filled by volunteers from the Village, who either have an interest in the project or a particular skill that is needed. Examples of this recently would be the Traffic Management Plan in 2001, the “Save Gurnard Post Office” campaign in 2003 and the Parish Plan (Gurnard: Your Vision of the Future) from 2004 to 2006. The Parish Council resurrected the Traffic Management Plan Working Party in April 2006. These meetings are not held in the Public Domain, but reported upon at the next full council meeting – this was disbanded in October 2011 for the time being. In 2010 the Parish Council worked with Gurnard Sailing Club to form a Steering Group to resurrect the Gurnard Regatta summer event, which took place on 14th August (see news pages for report) – it was repeated in 2011 on 20th August. A combined exercise to produce a combined Neighbourhood Plan was undertaken in 2012/2013/2014/2015/2016 and 2017. This project was concluded with a resounding YES vote at the referendum held in Thursday 7 September 2017. The plan was then adopted by the Isle of Wight Council and any planning applications for the Parish of Gurnard will now be judged against the principles of this document. The Parish Council would like to thank all members of the community who volunteered so much of their time to ensure this project was brought to its final conclusion.