Mistley Parish Council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the Parish. It is the first tier and the most local level of government closest to the community. There are 11 volunteer Parish Councillors and a part-time paid Parish Clerk/Finance Officer and a part-time paid Warden/Cleaner.
The Council meets as a team to consider issues and projects that are important to our residents. All of the Meetings are open to the public and there is an opportunity for members of the public to speak at our Meetings for a short period. Our elected District and County Councillors also attend Parish Council Meetings.
The Council keeps the Village informed and updated about events and activities via our Website, Facebook page, other community Facebook pages, the local press and noticeboards.
The other two tiers of local authority are Tendring District Council and Essex County Council and with the Parish Council – all three Councils offer different services and facilities to local residents.
The Parish Council is often the first point of contact for local people. The Parish Council aims to “sign-post” residents to the most appropriate level of local government. It has an important role to play in promoting the Village, representing its interests and supporting the work of different groups in the community.
Tendring District Council is the second tier of local government and can assist with planning applications, trees, licensing, car parking, housing, street cleaning, grass and hedge cutting, refuse collection, litter collection, environmental health, and dog fouling.
Although the District Council is responsible for litter, the Parish Council employs a Warden part-time who works a few hours a week and collects litter around the Village to help to continue to make Mistley an attractive, clean and tidy Village to live in and visit.
The Parish Council organises two volunteer litter picking events in the Village each year. This project is hugely successful with many people from the community, of all ages, and from differing groups and organisations coming together to help to continue to make our Village a wonderful place.
Essex County Council is the third tier of local government and is the authority responsible for highways and pedestrian matters, for education, health and social services, libraries and public rights of way.
Mistley has a Volunteer Footpath Warden who reports regularly to the Parish Council. He liaises with the Parish council about landowners, public footpath signage, access and the quality of public footpaths and rights of way. The Parish Council continues with its Footpath Warden to promote and encourage people to participate in organised walks also in partnership with Essex County Council Public Rights of Way.
Our Volunteer Tree Warden is the local Tree Champion and is the eyes and ears of the Community on Tree matters and can also be the catalyst for getting projects started and supported in conjunction the Parish Council. The Parish Council is a member of The Tree Charter Group which helps us to protect our environment and open spaces.
The Parish Council assists local people by providing contact details and assistance for planning applications in Mistley to the Local Planning Authority, which is Tendring District Council or the Parish Council may provide information to residents about the Highways Department of Essex County Council to report a dangerous pot-hole in the road and any other footway or highway matter.
The Parish Council’s corporate Vision and objectives are for a successful, vibrant, and attractive Village, where people are happy living, working, studying, visiting and enjoying the facilities.
The Parish Council aims to continue to improve and enhance the quality of life for the residents of Mistley, whilst ensuring that the Village is safe, desirable, attractive, provides sufficient facilities and services, and is a generally sustainable place to live.
The Parish Council has a Community Engagement Strategy. It recognises the role of regular and effective communication in building positive relationships with local residents, local organisations and stakeholders.
The Council is always ready to consider new projects, take on new challenges and listen to the ideas and suggestions of its residents. The Parish Council believes that community engagement and consultation are key to the continued success of the Village, to ensure that it nourishes a strong, viable and vibrant community. The Council encourages continuous and ongoing, open dialogue.
The Council’s priorities will provide a framework for future decision-making, and continuous financial and business planning for Mistley. The annual Budget is set by the full Parish Council and gives an estimated account of income and expenditure for the year. These details are published on the Council’s website. Management of income and expenditure is monitored by the Finance Committee and the Parish Council.
Income – The majority of the Parish Council’s income is achieved via the annual precept. This is the local tax levied by the Parish Council and is collected on its behalf by Tendring District Council as part of the annual Council Tax bill. The precept is based on Council Tax Band D property rates/tax.
Expenditure – This is dealt with primarily via the Council’s Finance Committee and the full Council.
Provisions for longer-term and larger projects are allocated to the Parish Council’s earmarked, ring-fenced Reserves. The Budget controls the Council’s finances. It demonstrates that the Council has planned, considered, and provided ample financial provision so that it should have sufficient income to carry out its services and activities within its policies, procedures, financial regulations/standing orders and legally. The Council will be checking its spending against its budget plans on a regular basis and at least quarterly. This matter will be considered and agreed at relevant full Town Council Meetings and the quarterly check will be recorded in the Council’s public Minutes. The Parish Council fully controls its finances during the Council year against its Budget in order’ to achieve its objectives for the benefit of its electorate.
The Council’s priority is to develop and maintain its current assets in the first instance, in order’ to maximise existing opportunities. For example, its own play areas/open spaces.
Grants and Contributions – The Parish Council can sometimes secure grant funding for some of its project work and community activities, in partnership with external stakeholders and groups and also’ more national based funders. On the back of planning and development in Mistley, on occasion the Village will receive some funding via Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, where funds are available for assisting with infrastructure raised via developers and paid to the Local Planning Authority, i.e. Tendring District Council. The Parish Council closely monitors these Developer agreements with Tendring District Council so that the best outcomes can be achieved for the benefit of Mistley and its residents.
The Parish Council is consulted by Tendring District Council on all planning and development matters for Mistley and can make comments and observations. Please let the Parish Council know your thoughts and views on any planning matters for the Village and these can then be taken into account when the Planning Committee of the Parish Council which meets monthly submits its views to Tendring District Council. The Planning Committee of the Parish Council is a public Meeting and residents are most welcome to attend and have the opportunity to speak within a limited time at the Meeting.
The Parish Council has a Grant Awarding Policy and is committed to supporting and strengthening the many networks of community groups, which make a positive difference to the enjoyment and wellbeing of Mistley residents.
Requirements for Grants – Voluntary organisations or community groups wishing to be considered for a grant should email or write to the Parish Council and include the following information:-
- The specific amount of the grant;
- What the funding is for;
- Breakdown of costs and any funds already raised;
- How the project will benefit Mistley and its residents and how many residents will benefit; (if possible an approximate breakdown of age groups too);
- Latest set of Accounts/full Financial Statement (no more that 3 A4 pages).
The Parish Council keeps its website regularly updated with financial information, with an easy to follow link to the financial information. The sort of information that local residents may want to look at includes:
- The Annual Accounts (Audited);
- The Annual Budget;
- The Annual Return;
- Audit Reports;
- Monthly Expenditure/Schedule of Accounts for Payment;
- Quarterly Budget Reports: 1st Quarter Financial Period, 2nd Quarter Financial Period and 3rd Quarter Financial Period.
Training of Councillors and Staff – Mistley Parish Council recognises that its most important resources are its “human resources”, i.e. its Councillors and Staff. The Council encourages Councillors and Staff to enhance their respective knowledge through training and development, to enable the Parish Council to make the most effective contribution to its Council’s aims and objectives which serve the Mistley community.
Some training is necessary to ensure compliance with all legal and statutory requirements. To support this, funds are allocated to a training budget each year to enable staff and councillors to attend training and conferences relevant to their respective office.
The Parish Council’s Main Areas of Responsibility:
- First tier of local government and grass-roots level;
- Helps to signpost local residents for any District, County or Policing matter;
- For services provided by others, (as above), the Parish Council endeavours to ensure that these are dealt with effectively and in accordance with the wishes of the community;
- Statutorily consulted by Tendring District Council on any planning applications in Mistley;
- Employs a part-time Parish Clerk/Finance Officer to administer the Council’s services and activities on behalf of local people, for members of the public to speak to;
- Employs a part-time Warden/Cleaner who litter picks and helps to keep the Council’s land, assets and street furniture in good condition. The Cleaner opens, cleans and locks the Public Toilet and also opens and closes the barrier to the Village Hall Car Park daily.
- Mistley Village Hall Car Park – The Parish Council owns and maintains the car park. It also helps the Village Hall Management Committee with some of its expenses. The Village Hall, Shrubland Road, Misltey is for local clubs, groups, organisations and private hirers can use this well-equipped facility at reasonable hire rates. This is a not for profit service operated by the Management Committee for its residents and local organisations.
- Street Furniture – The Council owns and maintains various benches, bins, dog bins, and bus shelters.
- Street Lighting – Although Tendring District Council and Essex County Council own and maintain some street lights, the Parish Council owns and maintains 108 street lights, many of the older units in the Village.
- The Swan Basin, Noticeboards, (High Street and Harwich Road) – These are all owned and maintained by the Council.
- Furze Hill Wood – This ancient Wood is owned and maintained by the Council. There are many veteran Oak Trees, including the famous Old Knobbley.
- Furze Hill Playing Fields – The Council leases land to the Rugby Club and the Football Club.
- Furze Hill Sports Pitches – This area is owned and maintained by the Council.
- Furze Hill Play Equipment – This is owned and maintained by the Council;
- Cemetery, New Road – The Council owns and maintains this with Manningtree Town Council.
- Closed Churchyard, New Road – The Council maintains the grounds.
- Common Land – The Council owns and maintains areas of Common Land around the Village, including the grounds maintenance on The Walls.
- The Welcome Home Trust – The Council is trustee where the Trust owns the Cricket Grounds and Bowls Club (leased out to these Clubs) and the Trust owns and maintains the Play Equipment at New Road.
The Council ensures that the facilities and land under its ownership are managed efficiently for residents and visitors to enjoy and strives to improve its services and facilities for the benefit of residents. The Council continues to endeavour to make a difference in our Community, whilst being open and transparent in its working.
The Council will continue to be flexible in its approach in order to meet the changing economic, social and cultural situation, and the needs and wishes of local residents. The Council regularly reviews engagement with the community and how it can engage more fully with our residents.