The Parish Council represents the concerns and wishes of the whole community. The range of powers available to Parish Councils are few but defined by law.
Elections were held in May 2019 for the 7 seats on the Council.
The Councillors are: Trena Fox (Chair) Sally Falkingham (Vice ) Cherri Dyke, Jeremy Edwards, Russell Goff, Diana Padfield and Paul Valinski.
All have signed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office and undertake to observe an ethical Code of Conduct when dealing with matters on behalf of the community. Councillors also complete a Register of Interests, a copy of which is held by the Clerk and the Electoral Officer at Dorset Council.
Council meetings are presently held on the first Thursday of each month via zoom (during Covid) and may last up to two hours.
All meetings are open to the public. There is a public forum at the beginning and end of the formal Council for questions or comment from the public.
The work of the Parish Council is funded mainly by the Parish Precept. This is a small percentage of the Council Tax collected on each property by Dorset Council and is paid to the Parish in April and September each year. The budget for 2021-22 was prepared in December 2020 and the Precept was set at £31,000. Accounts are prepared for each year, checked by the internal auditor and externally audited currently by PKF Littlejohn. The Parish has two outstanding loans from the Public Works Loan Board, one relating to the purchase of the Playing Field in 1998 and the other for the Play Area in 1996.
Parish Council responsibilities include providing and maintaining recreational facilities. Maiden Newton Parish Council presently own, insure and maintain:
- the allotments and associated grazing land for letting
- the Play Area and the land surrounding the Village Hall, together with all the play equipment.
- the War Memorial and Millenium Stone
- the remains of the Village Cross.
- the Playing Field and the Multi Use Games Area in Chilfrome Lane
- Rock Pit Car Park in Chilfrome Lane
- the Green in Harvey's Close
- 2 bus shelters
- 5 public seats and 7 grit bins in various parts of the Village
- Noticeboard, on the wall of the Corner Stores. The site is used by courtesy of the owners. The Clerk has the keys and is responsible for keeping the information up to date.
- the Village Clock on the Old School building. The Parish pays a nominal rent to the owner of the Old School for allowing the clock to remain in its present position.
- The Old Fire House in Chapel Lane which is leased to a trust which hopes to restore the building to house and display the original fire engine which is presently stored at the Fire Station in Bull Lane.
- Land at Station approach
The Council is a consultee on planning applications in the parish but the decisions are made by Dorset Council as the planning authority.
Parish Councils also need representation at other local government meetings or on local bodies / organisations and Councillors may be asked to serve on certain groups or attend functions on behalf of the Parish Council.
The Parish Council does not have a permanent office nor any full-time staff. The Clerk/RFO who works from home is employed for 50 hours per month. Attendance is required at the monthly Parish Council meetings and at the annual Parish meeting, usually in April and any other meetings required to carry out the functions of the Parish Council.
Contractors are employed to undertake other works including grass cutting and hedge maintenance. Specifications are drawn up and quotations always sought.
Maiden Newton is a member of the Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils. Training and support is provided through the Association.