Virtual Parish Council Meetings

Parish Council to go “virtual”
As a consequence of the spread of pandemic Covid-19, the Government has temporarily removed the legal requirement for local authorities to hold public meetings in person. It claims that this will enable councils to make effective and transparent decisions on the delivery of services for residents and ensure that local democracy continues to thrive.
The requirement to give adequate notice (3 working days) to the public prior to meetings still stands.
Milton Abbas Parish Councillors have decided to make use of Zoom to conduct virtual meetings and the first meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday 11th May.
The meeting will be set up by the Parish Clerk who will then hand hosting responsibilities to the Chair of the meeting. The Chair has the power to mute all attendees (including fellow Councillors) in order to ensure that only one person is speaking at any one time. The app provides a facility to “raise a hand” if you wish to speak which the Chair will be aware of. The Chair will lower your hand and unmute you prior to inviting you to speak.
To obtain the Zoom app for a tablet or phone go to the appropriate app store (Apple Store for iPads or iPhones; Google Play for Android devices) and search using the word “Zoom”. Alternatively, go to and follow the instructions using your web browser if you are using a PC/laptop.
You will need to set up a login ID (normally your email address) and your name so that others can identify you on screen. You will also be asked to allow Zoom access to various features on your device including the microphone and video facilities to which you must answer “Yes” or the other participants will not be able to see/hear you during the meeting. It is as simple as that!
Once you are logged in to your (free) account you can ask to “Join” a meeting. The entry number to join is 706 827 2399. This number will be re-published when each meeting notice and agenda is issued. The PC will use as much social media as possible including the following – Elli-gram, Milton Abbas Community Facebook page, PC website, village website and hard copy notices on PC Notice Boards and elsewhere. Following entry of the meeting number and a request to join the meeting, you will be placed in a “waiting room” which the host can see, and he/she will then allow you to participate.
A test meeting is scheduled for Monday 4th May at 7:30 p.m. to enable residents to “practice” using the Zoom app, should you wish to, prior to the official meeting. The same number can be used to join that meeting as the official meeting.
Liz Sellen, Parish Clerk

Planning Notices

Update on advertising planning applications in the former North Dorset area and part of the former West Dorset area

We have been notified that the Blackmore Vale Magazine has suspended publication for a temporary period due to the Covid-19 situation. Any planning applications requiring press advertisements that would normally be advertised in the Blackmore Vale Magazine will be publicised in the Western Gazette instead from 24 April onwards. This affects the former North Dorset area and part of the former West Dorset area only.

Parish Council Meetings are Cancelled Until Further Notice

Following the prime minister’s announcement, we wanted to reiterate the importance of following the new rules on staying at home and away from others.  This guidance impacts on all of us and there are additional needs to self-isolate or shield from contact depending on your situation.

It essential that we all follow these rules to slow the pandemic and to support our NHS.  Both NALC and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) are asking local councils to stop holding any physical meetings or gatherings during this time. This includes full council, committee meetings, annual parish or council meetings.  These are extraordinary times, and they call for extraordinary measures.

The health and safety of the local community is our first concern and we look forward to meeting with you again soon.

In the meantime, should you have any Parish Council related enquiries, I am always available by email, or you can leave a message on my answerphone 01258 880383 and I will call you back.

Kind regards


NDP Consultation – Green Spaces and Important Views – May 2019

The NDP group is now launching a consultation about Green Spaces and Important Views which will run for three weeks until June 10th.

As always we would like as many people as possible to look at our draft documents and to tell us whether or not they support our suggestions, and perhaps put forward suggestions of their own.

There is a display in St James’s Church, together with printed copies of the assessments and a short questionnaire, and the same documents and questionnaire are available here.

NDP Options Consultation Questionnaire

Many thanks again to the 140 people who responded to our last NDP consultation in August, which provided a rich source of information about how our community wants the parish to develop.

Over the last few months your NDP team has:

  • Conducted a call for development sites in the parish
  • Commissioned an independent suitability assessment for each of the sites put forward
  • Completed a housing needs assessment
  • Developed some draft ideas for the NDP vision, objectives, policies and possible sites for development .

We would now like to consult you again on this recent work to ensure we are progressing as rapidly as possible towards an NDP that is approved of by the community and strengthens our influence on future planning decisions.

We very much hope that you will be able to take part in this survey.  Full details are included in questionnaires that are available in Milton Abbas at the Surgery, the Post Office and Steeptonbill Farm Shop.  Questionnaires can also be downloaded from the NDP page where the site assessment and housing needs assessment documents mentioned above are also available.

With thanks and best wishes from your NDP team!

Rowan Woodhouse

NDP Consultation – Sites & Policies

The Milton Abbas Neighbourhood Development Plan Group are holding two consultation sessions in the Reading Rooms Saturday 9th Feb 10am – 1pm and Wednesday 13th Feb 5:30pm – 8:30pm. Come along to find out which sites and policies have made it to the short list and let us know which ones you support.  See the poster for more details.

Rowan Woodhouse

NDP December Update

A merry Christmas to Everyone. During the last two months the NDP group has been progressing three workstreams – site assessments, housing needs assessment and strategic environmental assessment. Read more over on the NDP page.

Susan Woodhouse