Councillors meet regularly to agree policies and make all important decisions. Some decisions can only be made at a meeting of the Town Council ( for example, setting the Town Council’s share of the Council Tax, known as “the precept”). Others decisions can be made by committees. Day-to-day decisions are usually made by the Town Clerk and other Council staff. The detailed rules are set out in the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.
The Town Council meets once every month except in August. The Town Mayor chairs these meetings and all 14 councillors are summoned to attend them. These meetings are usually held on the last Wednesday of each month and start at 7pm. In addition to making decisions at these meetings, Councillors receive a variety of reports including those from its Representatives on Outside Bodies.Town Council Meetings
In addition, the Council has formed four committees to oversee different aspects of the Council’s affairs. These committees (which also meet every month, except in August when only the Planning, Town & Environment Committee meets) are:
For the full list of scheduled Council meetings, please download the Calendar of Meetings.
All meetings are held in the Forest Suite at Ringwood Gateway and are open to the public (except on rare occasions when confidential matters have to be decided.)
15 minutes is set aside at the beginning of every meeting to enable anyone to speak on any matter they wish. So, if you have a question or something you think the Councillors need to hear, do come along, make yourself known to the Chairman and speak your mind. Unless the matter is already included in the meeting agenda, Councillors will not be able to debate or make any decision about it there and then but they may indicate they want to discuss it at a later meeting. After the public session, only councillors are entitled to speak but the Chairman may ask the Town Clerk (or other Council staff) to provide information or advice and may invite others to join in discussion. Only councillors can vote. For fuller information please see our notes on Public Participation at Meetings.
Each Committee has “terms of reference” which describe the types of Council business that can be discussed at its meetings and what matters (if any) it can make decisions about. An Agenda is published in advance of each meeting and only matters on this can be discussed. The Chairman will conduct the meeting as set out in the Council’s Standing Orders. After each meeting Minutes are prepared recording what was decided. Agendas and Minutes are published on this website and can be downloaded. Hard copies can be obtained from the Council Office (please note, a charge may be made for these.)
The Town Council does not decide planning applications but it has the right to be consulted about every application relating to land within the parish. The Planning, Town & Environment Committee discusses every one and agrees what observation to make before the decision is made by New Forest District Council (or New Forest National Park Authority, if the site lies within the National Park). The Committee is always willing to hear comments about applications before it decides what observation to make.
Full details of the planning applications are available on the websites of the relevant authority, where comments can also be made directly.
For details of our skate park, children’s play areas, bookable football pitches and cricket ground and links to other local sports facilities, see here.
Why not explore the green spaces we look after for the town? Begin re-connecting with Ringwood’s quieter outdoor corners and get more information on children’s play areas here.
Whether you are an experienced grower or newly interested in producing your own fruit and vegetables, we are likely to have a suitable plot at one of our allotment sites. For more details and an application form to join the waiting list, see this section.
Following a 2-year break, the Council will once again be operating a Visitor Information service from Ringwood Gateway on Saturdays throughout the holiday season (Easter to mid-September).
We are looking for both a Visitor Information Manager and Assistant to work with a team of volunteers to provide a range of tourist information to members of the public.
National Highways is undertaking works to widen the westbound carriageway of the A31 to three lanes between Ringwood town centre and the B3081 Verwood Underpass, and to replace the road bridges over the River Avon and Bickerley Millstream.
Read on for further information.
Ringwood Gateway will be closed from 4pm on Friday 24 December until 9am on Wednesday 5 January. We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year.