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About Parish Councils

What is a Parish Council?

A Parish Council is the most local level of government, with responsibility of the well-being of the local community.  A  Parish Council’s work falls into three categories:

1. Representing the local community

2. Delivering services to meet local needs

3. Striving to improve the quality of life in the community

A Parish Council is a statutory body and collects its funding through a precept, or a charge which is collected through the council tax by – in Milford-on-Sea’s case – New Forest District Council.

What does a Parish Councillor do?

The Parish Council makes decisions through its regular meetings with the elected Parish Councillors.  Parish Councillors are voluntary and give their time freely as community leaders to represent the views and aspirations of local people and as such they make a real difference to the community.  Milford-on-Sea Parish Council has 12 members who are elected every four years.  For a list of Parish Councillors and their roles click here.

Councillors have three main components to their work:
1. Decision making – through meetings and attending committees with other elected members, councillors decide which activities to support, where money should be spent, what services should be delivered and what policies should be implemented.
2. Monitoring – councillors make sure that their decisions lead to efficient and effective services by keeping an eye on how well things are working.
3. Getting involved locally – as local representatives, councillors have responsibilities towards their constituents and local organisations. These responsibilities and duties often depend on what the councillor wants to achieve and how much time is available, and may include:
• Going to meetings of local organisations and bodies affecting the wider community.
• Taking up issues on behalf of members of the public.
• Meeting with individual residents in their own homes.

Visiting your council is the best way to find out what happens there. For a list of meeting dates click here. By law, the public are allowed to be present at most council business.

If you would like to help make a difference to Milford-on-Sea and become a Parish Councillor, please contact the Parish Office.

Lengthsman Scheme

The purpose of this initiative is to devolve some minor highway works to parish councils. It enables Parish Councils to identify minor defects and maintenance requirements and, in many instances, repair them with funds allocated by Hampshire Council.  Parishes can use the delegated budgets to employ a local contractor familiar with the area.  Examples of the type of work available for delegation include:


  • Clear leaves and other debris from gully grid tops and drainage grips
  • Clear vegetation from the entrances and exits of highway culverts

Unlit traffic signs

  • Ensure legibility and visibility of traffic signs including straightening, cleaning and removing vegetation
  • Repaint traditional finger and mileposts

General maintenance

  • Verge cutting
  • Cut back overgrown hedges encroaching on footways. Strim overgrowth along footways in urban areas
  • Paint and repair fences
  • Clear foliage blocking the visibility of road traffic signs
  • Clear all minor storm debris discharged onto the highway and keep tidy all specified roads
  • Nominated task specifically relating to a minor highway maintenance item – as and when agreed by our contractor