Our last View for 2023

Dear Councillors and Clerks

Qualification, Budgets, Street Cleaning, PCC and Opening Hours

Well, this is our last View for 2023.  It’s been quite a year filled with highs and lows.  We have tried some new things, dropped some stale or unproductive activities, bade farewell to Helen, celebrated 75 completed years of Association, visited the House of Lords and despite many challenges, kept the wheels on the road and managed the vast majority of your questions within an excellent timeframe.  

Qualification of Candidates

At a recent training course, a candidate asked how, if a settlement was brand new, could candidates testify to having worked or lived in the parish for the preceding 12 months, given that the settlement may not have existed for that time.  I referred to the electoral commission website and share an extract below.  

To be able to stand as a candidate at a parish council election you must:


  • meet at least one of the following four qualifications:
    • You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the parish in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards. 
    • You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election. More information is set out in our guidance 
    • Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the parish area. More information is set out in our guidance .
    • You have lived in the parish area or within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election. More information is set out in our guidance .

In the instance of a new parish, the candidate would need to complete the first 2 musts and then be able to rely on the first of the four ands.

This course was the launchpad for our fabulous new Elections Toolkit.  It has now been updated with the 2024 MKCC as well as the 2025 BC Election Dates and this will be available on our website later today in the members area.

MKCC have published theirdraft budget proposals for 2024/25 and are inviting your comments before the consultation ends on 31 January 2024.  Comments to  budget@milton-keynes.gov.uk. There are also opportunities to attend two public meetings:

  • 7 February 2024 – Final Budget and Capital Programme – Cabinet
  • 22 February 2024 – Final Budget and Capital Programme – Full Council

Also from MKCC details of Street Cleaning information sessions 

There will be two information sessions held on Thursday 1 February. These have been put in place to share more information about the New Environmental Services and Waste contact and to answer any queries. An in-person session will be held in the Council Chamber 10.30 -11.45 and online session on Teams 14.00-15.15. Both sessions will cover the same information.   You should already have received your invitations but just in case… for more information please see this briefing note or contact Penny Fletcher

The Police and Crime Commissioner engagement on draft Retail Crime Strategy

Following engagement with businesses over recent months, Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber has developed a draft Retail Crime Strategy to improve the response to retail crime across the Thames Valley.  He is now seeking further feedback from retailers on the draft strategy which incorporates tangible actions to support businesses, with the aim of publishing the final document in the new year.  Any retail organisations across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire or Milton Keynes can get involved and share their views on the strategy. If you have shops in your area please let them know, and give them this email address for details retailcrime@thamesvalley.police.uk.

For bedtime reading take a look at a NALC / Groundworks piece From COP to local Communities.  Timely given I’ve just sent out a template for a biodiversity policy.

Finally to let you know that our office will be closed between from the 22nd December reopening on the 2nd January.  I am now on leave returning on the 8th January.  We wish you all a Happy Christmas however you choose to spend it and look forward to speaking with you in the New Year.

Kindest regards

Mel & Lorraine

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