Welcome to the Funtley Village Society
Campaign to form a Funtley Parish Council
At a full Council meeting on the 28th July, Fareham Councillors decided NOT to give Funtley Parish status.
This was despite the overwhelming support shown by our petition and the Council survey that showed 74.8% of those that responded wanted Parish status.
There were several Councillors who could see the benefits a Parish could bring to our village and voted in favour. This did not include our own Fareham North Councillor, Mrs Pam Bryant.
The Council meeting and 'debate' regarding the decision was videoed, and can be found on U-Tube here. A summary of the proceedings can be found here and a record of the Council decision can be found here.
We would like to thank all of you that took part in the campaign, whether for or against a Parish - all opinions were important and you took the time to get involved and speak out.
As a result of the decision, there are sadly now many things that can't be achieved for Funtley, but we will continue to try and protect and enhance our village for everyone. If you would to help us, then please volunteer and get involved! Just let us know: Info@funtleyvillagesociety.org.uk
We have been told that the law is under review regarding the formation of Parishes, to make it easier for residents who want to have more control over their local community - so watch this space!
A summary of our campaign...
In March/April 2015, members of the FVS knocked on every door in Funtley and spoke to our residents, explaining about the campaign to form a Parish or Village Council. A copy of the leaflet we posted through letterboxes can be seen here.
The vast majority of residents we spoke to (322) were in favour and signed a petition that was presented to Fareham Borough Council (FBC).
The Council responded stating that the petition was valid and commenced plans for 'community governance review' before making their decision about the Parish Council. We also met and informed our local councillors.
The Council's Governance review was underway and due to be completed in June 2016. The terms of reference and boundaries were agreed and the progress was discussed at the full council meeting on Thursday 30th July 2015. The Governance Review report is here
The FVS published a Parish Council special newsletter, which can be found here.
Council surveys sent to all residents Oct/Nov 2015
The Council sent round a survey to all residents asking their opinion on the formation of a Funtley Parish Council.
Unfortunately, the accompaning information from FBC contained incorrect information which the FVS explained to residents in a leaflet here, so that they were able to make their decision based on the true facts. The Council since corrected the information on their website, but did not sent another letter explaining the error to residents, as FVS requested.
The FVS held a tea/coffee and homebaked cake evening on Thursday 19th November 2015 at the Funtley Social Club. Residents had the opportunity to discuss the Parish Council application with members of the FVS, a Councillor from Whiteley Local Council and a member of the Hampshire Assocation of Local Councils (HALC).
Fareham Borough Council also hosting a CAT meeting at the Funtley Social Club, as part of the Funtley Community Governance Review the week after, on Tuesday November 24th. It was hosted by the Leader of FBC, Cllr Woodward.
The closing date to submit the FBC surveys had passed. Residents now jjust had to wait results of the survey and what the next stages of the governmance review would be.
21st March 2016
In order to help the Councillors make their decision, the FVS offered several dates inviting them all to attend a Parish Council workshop, independently run and chaired by Cllr Steven Lugg, Chief Executive of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils. As a result 2 meetings were held, but many Counciloors declined the offer.
A letter dated 23rd May was received by all residents from FBC, stated that their recommendation to the Councillors was to be against a Parish Council. This was dispite 74.5% of residents who responded to their survey being in favour of forming a Parish. Unfortunately, the response was (in the view of the FVS) very biased towards the minority who didn't want a Parish and did not give enough credit to the views of those who did. As a result, the FVS has responded to FBC in a letter which can be read here, and has also written to the Secretary of State to express our disatisfaction with the FBC recommendations, here. We have also had the support of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils (HALC) who has also written to the Sec of State - their letter can be found here.
Questions and Answers
Q: Why does Funtley need a Parish Council?
If we have a Parish Council, we will have more say about what happens in Funtley. For example, if we want to improve the footpaths or adopt traffic calming measures we don’t have to wait for Fareham Borough Council to prioritise it along with all the other requests they get in the Borough.
Parish Councils are legally recognised bodies and as such, they hold more weight when consulted about decisions such as planning applications.
If we have a Funtley Parish Council, it also gives us the right to apply for numerous types of grants in order to do the things we want, to improve our village.
Having a Parish Council will allow us to maintain separation and our own identity as a village, now we know that the Welborne Plan is going ahead.
Q: How is it all funded?
There is a cost called a ‘precept’ which is a small amount added to each households Council Tax. This will give the Parish Council a basic amount of money. However, over and above this, most of the money needed to make the improvements will then come from grants through the government or lottery for example.
Q: It is the same as the Funtley Village Society
No. The FVS will still operate and have a voice as it’s always done – but it’s not a statutory body, so it doesn’t have the same powers as a Parish Council. However, the Parish Council will work closely with FVS to ensure that all residents are represented in any decisions that have to be made.
Q: How do I become a Councillor?
A Parish Councillor is not a paid representative, but a volunteer who wants to represent their community. They are not linked to any political party or any church.
To be a councillor you have to be a British citizen over the age of 18, live in Funtley (or within 3 miles), or work in Funtley. More details are available - please contact us to find out more.
Q: Are the Councillors elected?
Yes. If FBC agree to allow us to form a Parish Council, then they are responsible for organising the election of the Parish Councillors. Councillors serve a term of 4 years. These elections are not related in any way to the normal government or local council elections – as they are non-political.
Q: Where would the boundary of the Parish be?
The Boundary would be from the top of Funtley Hill to half way along River Lane (i.e. inbetween the ‘Funtley’ signs).
Q: Will it help us fight Welborne?
FBC can take up to a year to decide whether or not to grant Funtley Parish status. Planning applications for houses in Welborne are not expected until next year, so the timing means we have a better voice that FBC will have to consult with before any decisions are made.
Q: Are any other local villages Parish Councils?
No. We will be the first in Fareham Borough to become a Parish Council. But locally outside of Fareham, Wickham and Botley are our nearest Parish Councils (in Winchester Borough). The Localism Act (2011) was developed because the Government wants more power to be given to local communities. So if we get enough support from the village, there is a good chance this will happen. In total there are over 11,000 Town or Parish Councils in England and this number is increasing as more communities realise the benefits.
Q: What happens if I don’t agree?
Of course not everyone will agree with us and that's absolutely fine. We have informed all residents of the facts as widely as possible via door knocking, leaflet dropping and our press release as we wanted everyone to hear and understand the proposals. We have found that most residents agree that this is a good move for Funtley and signed our petition, which is why the proposal has now gone to the Council for their consideration.