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 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.
New Forest District Council
New Forest National Park Authority
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.
Last weekend, the Ringwood Twinning Association hosted a group of visitors from Ringwood’s twin town in France, Pont-Audemer. Click on the image above to read all about it.
You may have noticed that we haven’t planted the usual bedding flowers on the town roundabout this year. Click on the photo above to find out why.
Wessex Water will shortly be starting a project to upgrade infrastructure at the Ringwood Water Recycling Centre, off Hampshire Hatches Lane. This £1.8 million scheme will get under way on Monday 5 June and is expected to continue for around seven months, until the end of December 2023. Click on the image above to view the press release from Wessex Water.