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Column. The Trowbridge Town Council Leader’s articles - Town Council committees explained

October 5, 2020 9:49 PM
By Stewart Palmen in Trowbridge Nub News

FOLLOWING last week's article, here I aim to explain how the Town Council is structured into different service areas with committees to provide oversight and guidance. I will do this in the form of questions and answers again.

What are Council Officers?

Council officers is just a name given to all the people who are employed by the Town Council to carry out the work of the council in providing the services it does. The jobs they have are not voluntary jobs (unlike councillors) and they are paid the going rate for the type of work they do.

How many officers does Trowbridge Town Council have?

Currently we have fifty and click this link to see who they are and which service they support

How is the Council structured?

The Road Sweeper is part of Neighbourhood Services

The council is split up into different service areas and task groups. Each of these groups is headed up by a Head of Service and there is a committee made up of ten councillors for each group. They guide and determine what the service delivers.

So what are these committees and what do they cover?

There are five committees

1) Neighbourhood Services

This Head of Service for this group is Clare Lyall and the committee is chaired by Cllr Dennis Drewett with Vice Chair Thomas Bazan. This group covers the management and maintenance of all the green spaces controlled by the Town Council including the Town Park and practically all the play areas.

One of the Active Trowbridge Activities covered by The Leisure and Information Services Committee

They also spend a lot of time cleaning different parts of Trowbridge and deploying our Road Sweeper and Weed Ripper (though technically it is still Wiltshire Council's responsibility).

2) Leisure and Information Services

The Head of Service for this group is Hayley Bell and The committee is chaired by Cllr Denise Bates with Vice Chair Cllr Chris Hoar. This group covers the work of Active Trowbridge, The Trowbridge Information Centre in the Civic Centre as well as Facilities Management (running the various Town Council owned buildings).

3) Museum

The Head of Service for this group is Clare Lyall and the committee is chaired by Cllr Glyn Bridges with Vice Chair Cllr Nick Blakemore. This committee covers the workings of the Museum and their current focus is on reopening the new expanded museum in the New Year!

The Museum Project

4) Town Development

The Head of Service is our Town Clerk Lance Allan and the committee is chaired by Cllr Geoff Whiffen with Vice Chair Cllr Andrew Bryant. This committee primarily reviews planning applications in Town and provides inputs to any development work in the Town. But it has very little actual power, as the Planning Authority is Wiltshire Council. There are no council Officers employed for this group.

5) Policy and Resources (P&R)

This is not really a service as such but more a senior management team for the Town Council. Lance Allan as CEO of the Town Council is the Senior Officer.

I chair the meetings with Vice Chair Cllr Bob Brice. Here we review our Policies, Grants and the overall running of the council. We also take inputs from two other groups. 1) The Risk and Audit Panel and 2) The Civic Centre Management board that deals with the running of the Civic Centre. The Head of Service for Finance, Personnel and Venue Services is Juliet Weimar.

Town Development Idea for The Future High Street Fund Bid

Major decisions such as the council budget are made at Full council meetings where all councillors get to vote.

Which councillors are on which committees?

Full details of committee place are available here.

Can I attend the committee meetings?

Yes they are open to the Public and the Agendas are published in advance of the meetings. The schedule for meetings are on the Town Council's website by going to the Home page, scrolling down to Meetings and schedules for the last year or so are there.

Policy and Resources

I will leave it at that for the moment as that is already a lot of information. I will, in future, produce an article on each service with a lot more detail on what they actually do.

If you have any questions you want answering about Trowbridge Town Council, please do not hesitate to contact me via email on stewart.palmen@wiltshire.gov.uk or via phone on 01225 753479