The work of the Town Council is conducted by the Councillors, its officer, committees, working parties and external groups. These are as follows:
The Council consists of twelve elected members each representing the entire town. The Council meets monthly, usually in the last week of the month on Mondays and Wednesdays. Meetings are open to the public and press except where items of a confidential nature are dealt with. A time slot is allocated for public participation by prior arrangement with the Clerk. Elections for Council take place every four years.
The Council has six main sub-committees:
Planning: To respond to statutory consultation on all planning applications within the parish.
Traffic: To discuss traffic matters as necessary.
Finance: To prepare annual budgets and propose the precept. Allotments: To inspect and maintain sites. Lighting: To consider and review street lighting provision.
Affordable Housing: To identify need and seek to provide for local connections, a mix of affordable housing as determined by periodic housing needs surveys. This involves working with other agencies.
Role of Town Clerk The Town Clerk is the Council’s proper officer and responsible financial officer. As such it is the Clerk’s responsibility to ensure that the Council meets all the legal requirements in the conduct of business and that directives are carried out as required.
Responsibilities These include managing allotments, the parish burial ground, street lighting provision, recreational facilities, bus shelters, notice boards, seats and management of public open spaces at Ticknell Piece, Wigwell, Mill Field and Nine Acres. Members are also required to respond to consultations, identify need for affordable housing, lobby on transport and setting the annual budget. The Town Council also act as trustees for Nine Acres and The Corner House and War Memorial Hall charities. The Council also nominates members to serve on the following:
- Parish Stock Charity
- Exhibition Foundation
- Thomas Gifford Charity
- Chipping Norton School Trust
- Nature Conservation Advisory Committee
- Conservation Area Advisory Committee
Councillors and the Clerk are happy to provide members of the public with any advice or information relating to any of the above or general council matters. Where this is not possible guidance can be given as to where information can be found.
The Council holds an Annual Parish Meeting at which members of the public can raise issues of concern and also sets aside ten minutes at the start of each meeting (except May) to enable issues of immediate concern to be raised. Use of this is by arrangement with the Clerk. Public meetings are held where major issues are aired as needed. Councillors hold two strategic meetings annually to consider significant issues and to provide a forward plan. Additionally any member of the Council or the Clerk can be contacted to seek advice on how a matter of concern can be addressed and how best to bring this concern to the attention of the appropriate body.